In 2017, the UAV industry seems to step on a rope, even DJI could not escape the saturated market slowdown, and like many of the small size of the body Ehang suffer from “big company disease”, the implementation of large layoffs, the momentum spread to the friends of ZeroTech to control layoffs. It seems industry reached a new freezing point. But the new comer like Small Ant, GoPro, is still full of confidence. What kind of a route in 2017 of the UAV industry?
Nowadays Economic Environment
In recent years, CES has become an international platform for science and technology of new products debut exhibition, every year there are many new products leading technology in the future. The UAV push here so early in the 2015 CES , DJI has become a famous brand all over the world with the phantom 3 drone series. And in 2016 CES, Ehang’s 184 manned four axis aircraft has become the focus of the whole world. UAV has become the most popular technology products, related exhibitors reached more than 100, the UAV is everywhere.
In 2017 CES, to choose one of the most dazzling technology products, I believe we will think of new automotive technology products. Indeed, in this year’s CES, automatic driving technology, new energy vehicles, pure electric vehicles become the focus of the CES. Not only Google, Uber, apple, Microsoft, NVIDIA as science and technology enterprises to join the automotive field, even BMW, Benz, Honda, TOYOTA, Volkswagen and other car manufacturers are adding the electric car ranks, to participate in this exhibition CES. CES 2017 will become a semi auto show.
In contrast, the UAV manufacturers in the CES this year, the number of exhibitors from more than 100 to 40, other manufacturers have fallen? In addition, the first episode of the new product is worse, not only DJI continued “new color” strategy, we look forward to the Challenger: Ehang, Yuneec, ZeroTech also failed to launch a revolutionary new product, disappointing. The only new UAV from motion camera brand Small Ant launched three axis drone Erida, which is made of a carbon fiber structure, shaft arm folding, life time up to 40 minutes, the preliminary test flight speed about 118km/h, known as the world’s fastest three axis drone.
At the same time, influenced by VR/AR, intelligent wearable, automotive technology and other emerging industries, investors have weakened the UAV investment, many UAV manufacturers can not rely on financing to maintain the development of enterprises as usual. Enterprises must find a good marketing way to continue along the way to go.
Look at the current market situation, according to the latest IDC conference “Chinese aerial UAV market quarterly tracking report (2016 Q3)”, DJI market share from 70% in 2014 to 68.5% in 2015 and gradually in the third quarter of 2016 51.99%. And ZeroTech get the market share has reached 24.30% in 2016 third quarter.
Solution and Future
In the past 2016 years, the UAV manufacturers fierce competition. Recently, all kinds of rumors on the Internet is blown up, but some have been confirmed or ready to accept either course, let’s take a look at these hearsay.
1, Diversified Development — DJI Acquisition of Hasselblad
With the decline in market share, DJI has also begun a series of measures, from the beginning of last year, not only the consumer market, step by step, gradually began to move towards the industry application of the UAV market, including the introduction of the DJI MG-1, MG-1S two integrated plant protection UAV, but also for the existing models launched modified adapter fittings such as infrared thermal imaging camera, and Z3 and Z30 optical zoom PTZ camera. At the same time, the establishment of UAV teaching organization, including aerial industry applications, auxiliary information etc..
According to the recent news, DJI has acquired the Swiss Hasselblad camera manufacturers, although the news has not been officially, but high credibility. The last 10 years, Hasselblad has been sold to many owners, after recently since 2015 was the acquisition of venture capital companies, improve the massive business policy finally came back on track. In November 5, 2015, DJI strategic investment in Hasselblad. Hasselblad finally pushed them out for the revival of H6D and X1D. But because of funding chain issues, X1D since April 2016 after the release, has been unable to supply normal until December, only a small amount of shipment. DJI get the share while there is difficult with Hasselblad, is undoubtedly the best time. At the same DJI can be used not only on Hasselblad in UAV technology, but also can let DJI have the layout in the UAV industry chain on the outside.
2, Big Company Disease? Weight Loss – Layoffs Storm
Unlike in DJI, there is a big difference about Ehang, ZeroTech and GoPro, but have recently adopted the same approach: “downsizing, layoffs”. Venture capital companies in the financing, the expansion of enterprises, the expansion of personnel, is a normal behavior, but when the expansion of the scale exceeded expectations, then it will become the company’s negative. Many startups finally to the collapse of part of the reason lies in this, the speed of expansion too fast, did not do the rational planning, whether it is personnel expansion, productivity expansion, expansion inventory and so on, if the market can not be timely digestion, it is easy to travel cancer of company operation. Then one step to death. Find and solve the problem as soon as possible, maybe a correct way.
3, Single Product Promotion – ZeroTech Dobby
Now in the consumption field of UAV, DJI is in the upper reaches of the industry, not only has the advantage in technology, but the price is in constant pressure, did not give the opponent the development of space. Like the DJI phantom 4 compared with competing products of typhoon Yuneec H, the former than the latter in the price cheap price nearly 500$. The advantage is self-evident, sales data of typhoon Yuneec H is quite ugly. Therefore, dislocation competition is also can be a good solution, like ZeroTech, it is able to compete with DJI in the accumulation of technology on the manufacturer, currently in the consumer level UAVs strategy is only one key products, launched last year Dobby, spotted a small selfie UAV market, the consumer market to retain only the one products.
The benefits of a single product line is able to do the best in the product, promotion and more centralized, quality control is easier and more direct, more research focus. There has been hot since ZeroTech launched Dobby, recently found Liu Yan ( One of most famous actress in China) as spokesperson. From the 2016 Q3 market share above, you can directly see the results, ZeroTech market share increased to 24.3%, the rapid growth of.
Aerial Drones Trend in 2017
Foldable UAV is still the mainstream consumer field. For consumers, portability is a very important factor to buy, 2017 will continue in this direction. There will be more Mini UAV product, high performance, long life, foldable. Like ZeroTech Dobby volume has been small enough, but this battery life is a dead point. DJI Mavic Pro is a good small folding drone with long battery life, the price is much higher than the user’s entry.
Technology changing Life, intelligent UAV is a major development direction. The intelligent level of the current drone, to use the UAV has become more and more convenient, but there is still space to rise. Many technology is just an attempt, not perfect, whether it is automatic obstacle avoidance, intelligent recognition, or somatosensory control technology, there are some blind spots can not be used. We expect the intelligent level of the future.
3, Industry Application
In the consumer market, after all, the UAV is not a necessary product, the demand is not as high as the electronic products such as mobile phones, the market growth is a bottleneck sooner or later. In the field of industry application, the application of intelligent UAV gradually become inseparable tool. In this CES, DJI in addition to playing “color change”, also launched a high-level APP advanced version of DJI GS Pro, which running in iPad, we can obtain the UAV support control software with more quality, more industry application function.
In 2017 CES, the UAV industry is still growing trend. Not like the past two years of explosive growth, this year will be upgraded in three aspects: portable, intelligent and industry applications. And the UAV manufacturers is coming to the most brutal elimination period, in some rely on OEM, copycat, no core technology manufacturers, will be the most dangerous.