China-based consumer electronics firm Xiaomi, known for its Apple ( AAPL ) copycat smartphones, has come out with a low-cost flying camera drone that could shake up the nascent market. On Wednesday, Xiaomi, roughly pronounced “show me,” introduced its first drone, the Mi Drone, which costs about $380 for the entry-level model with a 1080p camera. A higher-end model with a 4K camera costs about $450. The Xiaomi drones will be sold in China, at least initially, TechCrunch reported . Camera drones from market leader DJI start at $500, with 4K drones starting at $800. And those prices are after recent discounts. Action camera maker GoPro ( GPRO ) is expected to enter the drone market in time for the holiday shopping season. Pricing has not been announced for its Karma drones. U.S. Drone Sales Skyrocketing Retail tracker NPD Group reported Wednesday that drone sales in the U.S. have grown 224% year over year to nearly $200 million in the 12 months ending in April. Drones with 4K cameras accounted for more than one-third of dollar sales in that period, while drones with built-in GPS accounted for 64% of revenue. The average drone sold for more than $550 in April, NPD said. “It’s not surprising that drones were highly sought after during last year’s holiday season,” NPD analyst Ben Arnold said in a statement. “But even after the holidays, NPD’s consumer research indicates drone purchase expectations remain high, especially among younger consumers. This points to continued growth and healthy demand for the category.” China-based DJI was the top U.S. drone vendor in terms of dollar sales. French company Parrot was second, followed by Protocol, Yuneec and 3D Robotics, NPD said. RELATED: Red Bull Gives GoPro Wings, But Camera Maker Still Low-Flier Drone Market Positive For AeroVironment, Not GoPro, Piper Says
E-payments giant PayPal ( PYPL ) announced Wednesday that it will release an updated mobile app for the Apple ( AAPL ) iOS and the Alphabet ( GOOGL ) Google Android operating system next month But it also offered further evidence that also-ran mobile operating systems from Microsoft ( MSFT ), BlackBerry ( BBRY ) and Amazon.com ( AMZN ) are obsolete. PayPal said in a blog post that users of its Apple iOS and Android OS mobile apps must update to version 6.0 between June 3-30. As for Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Amazon Fire, there’s no app upgrade. In fact, PayPal will discontinue apps for those services as of June 30, though they can still access PayPal via browsers. Windows Phone and BlackBerry have seen continued market share losses, with Windows Phone market share falling below 1%. Amazon, which uses a modified Android, killed its ill-fated Fire Phone, though its Kindle tablets remain numerous. “It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms, but we believe it’s the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers, wrote Joanna Lambert, PayPal’s vice president of consumer product. Microsoft announced plans Wednesday to cut another 1,850 smartphone jobs.
HP Inc. ( HPQ ) posted mixed fiscal second-quarter results late Wednesday, beating views on earnings per share, but missing Wall Street’s target for sales. HP earned 41 cents a share excluding items on sales of $11.59 billion for the quarter ended April 30. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected HP to earn 38 cents a share on sales of $11.72 billion. On a year-over-year basis, adjusted EPS rose 5% while sales fell 11%. Excluding foreign currency effects, revenue was down 5%. The Palo Alto, Calf.-based company continues to suffer from a weak market for personal computers and printers. “This quarter we delivered strong results and solid progress towards our long-term strategy,” HP CEO Dion Weisler said in a statement . “We achieved our operational objectives, unleashed truly amazing innovations, and grew in strategic areas of our business, despite tough market conditions.” Revenue in HP’s personal computer business fell 10% in Q2, while printing business revenue declined 16%. For the current quarter, HP is forecasting adjusted profit of 37 to 40 cents a share. Wall Street had been modeling for 40 cents. For the full fiscal year, HP is targeting adjusted EPS of $1.59 to $1.65. Analysts were looking for $1.59. HP stock was flat in after-hours trading following the earnings news release. During the regular session Wednesday, HP rose 2.4% to 12.20.