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NEW POLL! The 2018 Transmitter Survey!

Time to put our finger on the pulse again!

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Q: What is the main brand of transmitter you use?

 FrSky
 Futaba
 Graupner
 HiTec
 Jeti
 JR
 Multiplex
 Spektrum
 Other


Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator14/04/2018 20:11:56
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Posted by Cuban8 on 14/04/2018 10:09:11:

Until FrSky undertake a proper advertising campaign to highlight their products and dispel misconceptions, and perhaps get a 'name' within the world of 'conventional' model flying to start using it, thereby giving the 'big two' a run for their money, they won't make a serious dent in Futaba and Spektrum's broader sales.

Mmmm, I’m not sure I’d agree with that.

Here is a table that shows all of the percentage results for the four main players over all the surveys. Note that the time intervals between surveys are not constant, it is in fact: 2 years, 3 years and 1 year. So changes have to be viewed in that light, e.g. bigger changes over a 3 year gap than over a 1 year gap are not surprising for obvious reasons.

Year

Spektrum

Futaba

FrSky

JR

2012

34

41

0

10

2014

38

31

6

9

2017

36

26

15

6

2018

33

23

19

6

So let’s ask ourselves how the surveys suggest these companies have fared.

Spektrum: Well currently they are number one – which is obviously very good. Congratulations Spektrum. But look deeper, the data suggests that they have no more market now than they did 6 years ago. Their average annual growth over the entire six year period is actually slightly negative at -0.16%. Not exactly “dent free” eh?

Futaba: Here the picture is somewhat worse. According to this data Futaba’s market share has consistently decreased in every survey throughout the period. In total it tells us they have lost 18% of the market, that is almost half their users. Their average annual growth over the 6 years is indicated at -3% per annum. In my view that’s one hell of a dent inflicted by somebody. I wonder who?

JR: The data would seem to explain the recent decisions at JR. An already small market share halved to the point that I guess it becomes questionable if it’s viable?

FrSky: The only one to show positive growth in every survey on the baseline of the first one. Their annual average growth is indicated as +3.16%. Oh isn’t that a neat coincidence? A +3% to match Futaba’s -3% and a +0.16 to match Spektrum’s -0.16%. Amazing.wink 2

I agree that none of this is in any way conclusive, it is just fun survey on here. But it does suggest to me that there is some evidence to back a view that FrSky are a significant factor in Futaba’s declining market while simultaneously raining on Spektrum’s parade by preventing them from growing their leading position into a dominant position. I’d call that making a lot more than “a dent”.

OK, FrSky’s performance might not be “electric”, but consider this; if you were in charge at FrSky do you really want explosive growth? That is just going to lead to supply problems, manufacturing difficulties and ultimately quality issues. No, surely good steady, predictable, high-level growth is want you want? You are in this for the long game. At +3% per year I think that is precisely what FrSky have achieved. It looks pretty impressive to me.

BEB

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator14/04/2018 20:15:08
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Grrr! My JR figures have dissapeared off the right hand side! They should read (10, 9, 6, 6)

BEB

Cuban814/04/2018 21:06:51
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According to their website, a young man called Olle Lovborg (no, me neither) is a FrSky sponsored pilot!
Andrew76714/04/2018 21:55:28
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Looking at Beb's quoted figures on page one, it seems quite scarey that that the number of votes has dropped so dramatically. From just under 2000 in 2014 to less than 350 now. Are we really loosing that many members on the forum?. I know i don't post much but i read every day (everyone seems to know more than i do, so i can't add much). Is this the case?. Are our numbers down so much?.

Andrew

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator14/04/2018 23:46:25
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Fear not Andrew! Remember that the thread you refer to has been open for 4 years, this one has been open for 5 days! How many will vote will depend on all sorts of things - interest, how long it lurks around the top board, how long we keep it there by bumping it, how ong it runs etc. etc.

The forum is actually very strong at present - the number of unique logins per day is near the top of the range we have experienced and we are seeing 40-50 new members per week. This is thread number 135,101and the total keeps on expending.

Forum activity tends tp peak in winter - less flying, more building - and be at its lowest in summer - we're all flying!

BEB

Andrew76715/04/2018 07:44:51
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Thanks for that BEB. That is good news.

Andrew

The Wright Stuff16/04/2018 12:39:00
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I plotted BEB's table as a graph, mainly to aid the visualisation of the unequal time intervals between the polls. I joined the points with splines just to guide the eye.

picture1.jpg

Now, the extrapolation into the future is VERY tentative. I could of course have drawn the lines in any number of ways. But it does appear, that if current trends continue, likely that FrSky will overtake Futaba before 2019, and Spektrum before 2020, in terms of the sample set included in this poll.

MattyB16/04/2018 15:16:48
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I suspect the Futaba and Spektrum falloff and the FrSky growth might be slower than the graph predicts amongst users of this forum. However, globally I do believe FrSky is likely to be the most used system by 2020, even if that is not something we can prove here from UK forum members alone.

kc16/04/2018 18:54:22
5434 forum posts
161 photos

This is just based on forum members! Taranis has been hyped up a lot on this forum so it is not suprising that it is popular with forum members........but very little mention of Frsky in adverts or elesewhere. I suspect the real number of Frsky users is high in this forum but not elsewhere. On the other hand Graupner is widely advertised and very competively priced so it would be amazing if their sales are only 1/19th of Frsky sales which i suggest makes the survey very misleading! Or else advertising in magazines is doomed if it cannot influence buyers more than free mentions on the forum.

trebor16/04/2018 19:17:14
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Word of mouth rules for me not flashy adverts yes

Don Fry16/04/2018 19:34:45
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KC, I can honestly say I have never seen a Graupner set. So I can't be influenced by its virtues. Spektrum user, slightly miffed I did not do Taranis, but slightly relieved that the latest Orange receivers are as good. But they all seem to work. Mind, my old Futaba sets seemed to keep the machine airborne, until I got involved.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator16/04/2018 20:49:47
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Actually KC I could make the opposite case. It would run something like this:

"Futaba is the conservative choice of older longer established modellers. We have a lot of them on here. FrSky's strongest market is probably the younger drone flying drone racing fraternity. We have very few of them on here. So on that basis we could say the FrSky is possibly very under represented on here compared to the overall national picture."

You have cited on a couple of occassions that in your club there are not any FrSky users - but in mine there are. We all know what tends to happen, one person who is an early adopter, buys the new thing, Then there is a sort of second level of the more adventurous but still a little cautious who, once they actually see it and think its good, will also adopt. But if that one early adopter isn't there then it won't happen - in your club. But that doesn't mean it isn't happening elsewhere! This survey, based on the members of this forum, may be limited in its accuracy, but I'd say it still better than a sample based on just one club!

I'll give you an another example - no one in my club flies gliders, no one at all. So do I conclude that all this talk I hear of glider flying is completely misleading and exagerated? No, of course I don't, just because we don't fly gliders doesn't mean gliders are not flown in great numbers elsewhere! You cannot generalise from the local experience of one club.

BEB

Geoff Sleath16/04/2018 21:08:54
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2472 forum posts
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Several of our members are F3A competitors. One of them, a former UK National Champion though Polish, not only builds but designs his own models and takes aerobatic competition very seriously. He currently uses a Graupner transmitter with a few modifications of his own (the throttle has several stops for different manoeuvres for example) and he has several flight modes to suit different stages of the routines - don't ask me, whilst admiring their skill and dedication I find F3A terminally boring.

However Les has decided to move away from his Graupner (I think because of the state of the company) and has been taking considerable interest in my new Frsky Horus. There are quite a few Frsky transmitters in the club but I think I'm the first with an X10 Horus. It looks like there'll be a new recruit soon. At least he probably justifies the sophistication whereas I certainly do not! I just like the pictures

Geoff

Devcon117/04/2018 07:46:27
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I don't thing FrSky are being "hyped" on this forum but I do accept there is a certain evangelistic feeling expressed by some users, I certainly include myself in that category.

For some weird reason and maybe it's just me but FrSky engenders a real affection/connection with the equipment that I've not experienced before.

My Spektrum stuff is fine and is still used but my Taranis feels much more personal and connected to me. Now maybe that's because I've invested some time in it with a speaker and hall sensor stick upgrades, maybe because it's such a liberating system to use or somehow FrSkys culture of passion for their products and being different and less corporate, who knows.

I think KC mentioned the difference in marketing/advertising between Graupner and Frsky, now this might seem weird but are there any similarities to Wetherspoons who have announced they are dropping all social media activity and external advertising and building there business purely on customer experience and word of mouth. They are certainly a love them or loathe them company with commited "Spoonheads" who have huge loyalty and express it.

I don't get a feeling Beefeater, whilst a great product and market share has the same effect.

 

 

 

Edited By Devcon1 on 17/04/2018 07:47:33

The Wright Stuff17/04/2018 08:05:29
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 16/04/2018 20:49:47:

You have cited on a couple of occassions that in your club there are not any FrSky users - but in mine there are. We all know what tends to happen, one person who is an early adopter, buys the new thing, Then there is a sort of second level of the more adventurous but still a little cautious who, once they actually see it and think its good, will also adopt. But if that one early adopter isn't there then it won't happen - in your club.

Just to be devil's advocate, BEB, can you not say exactly the same thing about this forum, as a 'quasi club'? Some early adopters, favourable reviews, 'how to' threads, and the second (and third) level adopters are breeding right here?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator17/04/2018 09:02:48
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I wouldn't disagree with that at all TWS. In essence that's how any new trend starts anywhere!

BEB

kc17/04/2018 11:40:31
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161 photos

Do any makes other than Spektrum/JR have something like ModelMatch which prevents using the wrong memory/Rx ?

That feature seems to be a big plus for Spektrum in this age of multiple model ownership. Does Taranis have the equivalent?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator17/04/2018 11:50:06
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Yes KC it does. Each Rx has an individual number matched against a model in the Tx at bind time. You can't control or link with a mis-matched selected model in the Tx and the "wrong" Rx. It just won't do anything.

BEB

MattyB17/04/2018 12:28:19
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Posted by kc on 16/04/2018 18:54:22:

This is just based on forum members! Taranis has been hyped up a lot on this forum so it is not suprising that it is popular with forum members........but very little mention of Frsky in adverts or elesewhere. I suspect the real number of Frsky users is high in this forum but not elsewhere. On the other hand Graupner is widely advertised and very competively priced so it would be amazing if their sales are only 1/19th of Frsky sales which i suggest makes the survey very misleading! Or else advertising in magazines is doomed if it cannot influence buyers more than free mentions on the forum.

Sorry, but I think you are massively overstate the influence of print media advertising these days kc. Just look at the number of paper mags that have gone to the wall in recent years - most of us just aren't reading magazines any more. Instead our RC information is coming online from forums, manufacturer websites and social media. This is particularly true of those younger drone flyers coming new to the sport and flying outside a traditional club environment.

It's pretty simple - rather than picking up a magazine more and more of are watching video reviews online, reading the forum reports, visiting manufacturer websites and buying direct from internet suppliers. Why would FrSky invest in expensive print media when the number of eyeballs seeing those ads is ever diminishing and they are growing successfully without it?

PS - In our soaring club I would now estimate 40-50% use FrSky gear regularly, primarly because the essentially unlimited mixing capabilities of OpenTX and RX/batt telemetry are particularly useful full house glider pilots. All that has been done by word of mouth, no expensive advertising required. Just because it is not big at your club does not mean it is not happening.

Edited By MattyB on 17/04/2018 12:29:21

Dickw17/04/2018 12:34:33
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Posted by kc on 17/04/2018 11:40:31:

Do any makes other than Spektrum/JR have something like ModelMatch which prevents using the wrong memory/Rx ?

That feature seems to be a big plus for Spektrum in this age of multiple model ownership...........

Yes - Jeti.does and I am sure others do as well.

Dick

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What is the main brand of transmitter you use? (2018)
Q: What is the main brand of transmitter you use?

 FrSky
 Futaba
 Graupner
 HiTec
 Jeti
 JR
 Multiplex
 Spektrum
 Other

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