What is The Apple of Drone Stocks?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or more commonly known as drones, are starting to become a favorite among hobbyists, techies and video junkies. Used by the military for decades the technology is now becoming viable for civilian and commercial use. The Teal Group estimates that over the next decade spending on drones will increase to over $91 billion.
You can look up all the drone companies trading on the market, however one you may not find (yet) is being deemed as the “Apple of Drone Stocks” by many market experts.
GoPro (GPRO) has announced that it will begin releasing its own version of a drone in 2016. Anyone familiar with GoPro knows that it is the “go to” video camera for action junkies and video enthusiasts. In fact, GoPro already makes cameras specifically for drones. Customers are creating some awesome videos. Take a look at this sample below:
You may wonder, why is a camera maker looking to make drones? It’s a good fit, in reality. Much of GoPro’s current customer base are using, planning to use, or are familiar with drones, and the awesome videos captures you can get using them. So the crossover is almost a no brainer.
Dominic Basulto of The Washington Post believes that GoPro could become the “innovative champion” of the drone industry. It has to potential to really disrupt the market just like Facebook did with social networking, Amazon with e-commerce and, of course, Apple with its innovative gadgets, tablets and iPhones. In fact, GoPro’s customer base are just as fanatical about its action cameras as Apple’s are about its iPhone products. That’s something to think about.
Competition in the consumer UAV (drone) market is fairly nonexistent. With only 3 other companies with what could be considered a “foothold” in the market, GoPro could literally go ballistic off the launch pad.
Currently, China’s DJI, France’s Parrot, and California-based 3D Robotics play in the consumer UAV space. DJI the largest, generating $131 million in sales last year.
Things To Watch Moving Forward
A good sign things are getting serious at GoPro are equity rounds, and who participates in them. Also watch for any partnerships being created such as chip manufacturers, software companies, and potentially (down the road) Artificial Intelligence companies. You can find these items in the company SEC filings.