Quadcopters are being integrated with sophisticated technologies such as gyroscopes, GPS, and high resolution cameras to execute complex tasks such as aerial mapping, aerial photography, monitoring, search & rescue operations, and entertainment tool among many others. In the recent past, a new concept of drone phones has been introduced, which harnesses the power of the smartphone for all additional features such as camera, gyroscope and GPS for its functioning, while the drone itself would be just a housing assembly for the phone and have the mechanical components essential for flight. In 2015, Xcraft Inc., a company based in the U.S., introduced the first concept of drone phones through broadcast on a television show in order to raise investments. The drone allowed for the smartphone to be housed in the body of the drone and use the on-board GPS, camera and other features of the smartphone to navigate and control its flight.
Low manufacturing costs and ease of access to market is expected to fuel demand for drone phones through the forecast period
These phone drones are cost effective and offer a rich suite of programmability features such as return to home, follow-me, and mission modes, which has seen these gain major traction in the recent past. Overall cost of the available drones is well under US$ 300. These devices can even utilize the old model mobiles or phones that have broken screens and cannot be used be used for general purposes. These factors are expected to generate major potential for growth of the drone phones market over the next few years.
Compact design, portability and interoperability are among some of the major benefits of these devices
Chief participants offering smartphone support have extended the applications to almost all the major device platforms such as Android, iOS, and Apple Watch. Compact design, in built battery, portability, and extreme ease of use are among the chief factors that continue to drive demand for drone phones.
Growing interests of established players in the drones market due to its major potential to cannibalize the entertainment quadcopter platform businesses will influence significant R&D investments in the drone phones market
Flone - The Flying Phone is yet another company that has participated in the competition through the introduction of its do it yourself (DIY) model of quadcopter. In January 2017, Selfly.Camera introduced an autonomous flying camera featuring a compact drone body that can be used as mobile cover and can be used for aerial photography. One of the major developments in the industry segment is the growing interests of the smartphone brands to introduce accessories or product in the domain. In November 2017, LG announced its plans to introduce first drone phone in the market, which instead of an accessory will be incorporated into the phone (as by the viral video on YouTube under the tagline).
Short flight time and consumer fear of loss of the costly smartphones in the event of an incidence is among the major factors that can hamper the drone phones market growth over the forecast period
Significantly small size designs currently limits the manufacturer’s scope to integrate safety features and enhance battery back-up. Moreover, powering the drone for all operations drastically reduces the life cycle. These factors are expected to be major restraints for the market in the near future. Moreover, stringent regulations regarding the utilization of these systems near the no-fly zones and commercial applications specifically in the U,S, and Europe will negatively impact the overall industry growth.
North America is expected to be the highest growing regional segment, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific
According to Coherent Market Insights analysis, U.S. accounts for approximately 35% of the global drones market share, followed by Europe (~30%) and China (~15%). Moreover, according to FAA’s estimates, hobbyists are expected to account for around 4.3 million drone shipments by 2020, with its significant share based in the U.S. Thus, U.S. will account for the largest market for compact quadcopters. Moreover, if the product development plans of LG go as planned, U.S., South Korea and Europe are among its major consumer segments, which would in turn witness substantial growth. Long flight hours and enhancement in the overall safety of both the smartphones and quadcopters are among the major factors that will influence the future growth of the market.