According to the Consumer Electronics Association, consumer UAV market will be worth $130 million in 2015.
By comparison, GoPro has generated $673 million in sales in the first nine months of this year. Over the past few months, Google and Facebook have acquired UAV companies. Amazon is also working to use drones to deliver goods. But none of them have made UAVs for consumers.
Dominic Basulto of The Washington Post says that GoPro could become the “innovation champion” of the consumer UAVs industry, just like Apple in the smartphone industry, Facebook in social networking and Amazon in e-commerce. The action camera make has joined the Small UAV Coalition, a UAV-lobbying group, indicating that the company is serious about consumer UAVs.
GoPro has several advantages that could make it a consumer UAV leader. These include the first-mover advantage and network effects. However, it will have to create an ecosystem that makes rivals impossible to catch up. Basulto says GoPro is the only company that has the potential to make consumer UAVs mainstream: Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported the company was working on UAVs that will be launch in late 2015, at a price between $500 and $1000.