Timing is everything. And for DJI, the timing for the Mavic Pro, the stars seemed to align perfectly. A couple of weeks after GoPro’s big unveil, the company had a folding drone of its own that was smaller and more feature packed that the Karma. And, in spite of being late to the announcement part, DJI announced that it would be first to market with its device – a decided bonus of both controlling its own factories and having several generations of drone production under its belt.
But in the world of hardware production, stuff happens. The company failed to his its aggressive October 15 release date, and eager pre-orderers began to complain. The company started issuing statements assuring customers that the kinks were being ironed out and the devices were on their way. As of the writing of this, some of those who pre-ordered the tiny drone are starting to receive their units.
Of course, the whole situation is garnering attention once again as the Chinese drone maker readies what looks to be yet another major hardware launch at an event in Los Angeles. If the company is indeed set to launch the Inspire 2, will its professionally focused device suffer the same sort of delays as the Mavic? Or did the folding drone’s issues simply stem from being blindsided as the device was subject to more demand than it anticipated?
In a conversation with the Adam Lisberg, the company’s head of North American communications director insisted that the delay was not a result of unanticipated demand, but rather some very basic production issues prior to shipping. “There were some bumps along the way toward ramping up,” he explained.
He said that the issues were not a result of the drone’s complex folding arms, but refused to go into further detail, adding, “It’s safe to say that we’ve learned lessons from the delays that we experienced,” referring to future production.
According to Lisberg, the Mavic Pro’s announcement just after the Karma was a coincidence, in spite of the fact that DJI had been partnered with GoPro when the action camera company first announced its intentions to build a drone for the specific purpose of capturing athletes on film. “We had our date in mind for months,” he explains. “We began scouting locations for the announcement back in July or August.”
The communications director adds that that while the Mavic Pro was subject to unexpected demand, it was the fact that professionals have been eyeing the device that most surprised the company. But while photographers and videographers are looking toward the more affordable, smaller drone, DJI isn’t worried about the Mavic eating into its other more established produc t lines. “We’ve never been a company that worries about cannibalization,” Lisberg said. “We are the innovation company and we don’t care if a new product makes an old one look outdated.”