The US will begin to implement tariffs on Chinese goods tomorrow, while China has also announced that it will impose retaliatory tariffs of equal magnitude. Will the trade war increase the price of 360 cameras?
A few weeks ago, someone commented on my YouTube channel that “this guy only promotes Chinese products.” I could not stop laughing. As almost everyone knows, the fact is that almost all 360 cameras right now are from China, or are manufactured in China. Cameras such as Insta360 and Xiaomi Mi Sphere, are obviously from China. But even cameras such as GoPro Fusion and Rylo, both from US companies, are also made in China.
Beginning July 6, US will impose tariffs on some Chinese goods, as much as 25%. The question for prospective and current 360 camera users is whether the tariffs will cause 360 cameras to become more expensive.
As of July 5, 2018, there are 1,102 products that are to be subject to tariffs (818 products from an initial list, plus 284 additional products). The products in the lists are primarily industrial. However, there appear to be some products that may affect 360 cameras, such as “electronic integrated circuits: processors and controllers (8542.31.00)” or “electronic integrated circuits: memories (8542.32.00)”.
Since consumer cameras are not on the list (yet), it appears that there might not be an immediate impact on 360 cameras. Whether the tariffs on the other products could indirectly raise the price of 360 cameras is not yet clear. I suppose time will tell.
If you’d like to hedge your bets and get a 360 camera now, here are some of the better deals:
– Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere (around $249): excellent for photos, pretty good for videos. Windows only (no Mac software)
– Insta360 One ($299 with free bullet time handle and invisible selfie stick): phenomenal stabilization.
– Yi 360 VR ($399): videos have excellent detail and very good stabilization. Windows only (no Mac software).
– GoPro Fusion ($599 to $699): excellent videos and photos. Currently on sale for $599
– Samsung Gear 360 2017 ($99 or less): not likely to be affected by tariff, but it’s really cheap now, and it now has stabilization.