By how long? Impatient enthusiasts are speculating.
DJI’s much-anticipated Mavic Pro drone that folds to the size of a water bottle was supposed to ship preorders mid-October, but that hasn’t happened.
@Skedudrifter We will begin shipping the Mavic Pro on October 15!
— DJI Europe (@DJIEurope) October 3, 2016
While the shipment is technically only a week late, enthusiasts eager to get their hands on the portable drone are already complaining on Twitter, in Facebook groups and message boards.
@DJIGlobal Any update on Mavic Pro shipping? Payment has already been taken so an update would be cool!
— Deano (@deanball_) October 17, 2016
The drone community has been really excited about the Mavic Pro, largely because it’s light, fits in a backpack and is smart enough to follow behind moving objects on the ground, like a person or a dog.
DJI hasn’t been clear about why the shipment is delayed, which has led drone enthusiasts to speculate that there are problems with the hardware. But there are myriad reasons along a supply chain that can cause orders to be delayed beyond potential hardware problems, like issues with shipping partners or snafus at the corporate level.
DJI released a statement, sans any solid explanation:
We said at our Mavic Pro launch event that we would begin shipping in mid-October. We’ve just passed that, and if you’re wondering where your Mavic Pro is, we’d like to offer an update.
Since unveiling the Mavic Pro, we’ve had amazingly strong global demand. Production is in full swing, and we will be fulfilling orders as fast as we can. If you have a DJI customer account, we’ll be sending you updates, or you can check for new information in our online store (http://ift.tt/2d1j2Ds).
We thank you for your enthusiasm and patience and for being a DJI customer.
Those who preordered the Mavic Pro paid in full for the aircraft, and $1,000 is not pocket change.
Early adopters and enthusiasts are an important community to keep happy. After all, the technology is not exactly mainstream, and DJI isn’t a household name in the U.S.
But GoPro is. And GoPro has its own — slightly cheaper — lightweight foldable drone, the Karma, slated to go on sale Oct. 23, in clear competition with DJI’s Mavic Pro.
It’s all reminiscent of what happened with the still-anticipated Lily drone, which raised $34 million in preorders from 60,000 backers. Lily was originally supposed to ship December 2015, but due to problems with production, it’s now delayed until late 2016 or early 2017. Refunds have been issued.