Drone bat­tles

DJI takes on US drone gi­ant with com­pact Mavic Pro

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By FANFEIFEI fanfeifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

DJI In­no­va­tion Tech­nol­ogy Co, China’s largest com­mer­cial drone man­u­fac­turer, un­veiled its fold­able and com­pact drone Mavic Pro on Wednes­day, to com­pete with US ac­tion cam­era man­u­fac­turer GoPro Inc’s newKarma quad­copter.

Mavic Pro is DJI’s first per­sonal drone de­signed to be taken just about any­where. Its fold­ing de­sign com­presses the en­tire drone to the size of a wa­ter bot­tle.

It is equipped with a sta­bi­lized 4K cam­era and a vis­ual nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, with 27-minute flight time, and can be con­trolled by a smart­phone, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

TheMavic Pro is also able to avoid ob­sta­cles, fol­low users as they walk around and cir­cle sub­jects, and fly at a con­stant height. Users can con­trol the drone com­pletely with just their ges­tures and take a hands-free selfie. It is priced at $999 with the re­mote con­trol in­cluded.

The $799 Karma launched by GoPro last week fea­tures a com­pact de­sign which can fit in a small back­pack. The com­pany also un­veiled the ac­tion cam­era Hero 5 and the smaller, cube-shaped Hero5 Ses­sion.

GoPro said its Karma drone can op­er­ate for 20 min­utes, but it lacks the ca­pac­ity to avoid ob­jects. Af­ter DJI’s an­nounce­ment, GoPro shares de­clined 0.77 per­cent to $16.79.

The two com­pa­nies are com­pet­ing fiercely in the bur­geon­ing con­sumer drone mar­ket. Founded in 2006, DJI has a share of about 70 per­cent of the world’s con­sumer drone mar­ket. In ad­di­tion to con­sumer drones, DJI launched its first agri­cul­tural drone last year.

GoPro, which was founded by surfers who wanted to record some waves, is in need of a new hit prod­uct. The re­lease of its Karma drone was de­layed from ear­lier this year. Both com­pa­nies are now fac­ing fierce com­pe­ti­tion from Chi­nese drone­mak­ers, such as EHang Inc and Yuneec In­ter­na­tional.

“Easy-to-carry and fold­able drones rep­re­sent the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment trend in the con­sumer drone mar­ket. DJI is likely to main­tain a dom­i­nant po­si­tion world­wide in tech­nol­ogy, mar­ket­ing and chan­nels, com­pared with its ri­vals,” said Zhao Zim­ing, an an­a­lyst at in­ter­net con­stancy Analysys in Bei­jing.

Com­pact drone Mavic Pro, made by DJI In­no­va­tion Tech­nol­ogy Co.

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