The DJI Mavic Pro has proven to be the most popular Camera Drone ever, with orders outstripping any projections and DJI’s ability to make them quickly enough. The bottom line is this – if you haven’t already ordered your Mavic Pro, it probably will not be under the Yuletide Tree! Current orders (as of mid-November) are projected to ship after the New Year…this goes for major vendors such as DJI (direct), Amazon or the Apple Store.
Hope against Hope
It may be that you are able to snag one at the last minute through lesser known sources – some DJI dealers have ordered 100’s and may receive some units not already called for. Keep your eye out at BestBuy as well as other sources and you may get the prize.
Reasons for Delay
The Mavic Pro launched on Sept. 27 – with orders being taken starting on that date. Originally, shipment was slated to begin by Oct 15 – however, DJI announced that they had run about a week behind in shipping the first batches of orders. By the end of Oct. it was clear that the demand for Mavic was off-the-charts. We (Droneflyers.com) noticed that even many of the old “holdouts” who were R/C hobbyists but never purchased RTF (Ready to Fly) Camera Drones had placed their orders. Mavic Pro also quickly became the #1 best selling consumer drone on Amazon – quite a feat for a product which was not in stock!
To add to these factors, GoPro’s Karma – which some had possibly considered as a Mavic alternative, launched late and incompletely…and then was recalled. It’s safe to say that many of those holding out for Karma placed their orders for the Mavic Pro.
Numerous customers have reported ordering Mavics from more than one source! This muddies the waters even more, as they may cancel one or both orders depending on whether they are slated to ship.
Demand for drones is extremely strong this holiday season due to the FAA having finally having settled the questions of registration and commercial use. Lastly, the economy has improved in the USA – a prime market for DJIs products.
Number Numbers Numbers
DJI does not release sales figures or even estimates – but there are a few items worth noting. DJI now has a large product line which they must continually manufacture. They virtually own (80% plus) the consumer and light commercial drone segment. At the same time, they have their limits in terms of capital and manufacturing capabilities…and those limits have been reached and surpassed by demand. It is our guess that the number of orders for Mavic Pro are exceeding DJI’s projections by a factor of 100 to 250%. With a new product…containing new technology…it is simply impossible to “turn up the assembly line” to that kind of speed. While DJI probably laments not being able to deliver quickly, the other side of the coin is worse – that of lackluster demand.
As of this writing (Nov. 12, 2016) , Mavic Pro models ordered from launch day up until (as late as) Oct. 11 have been reported as shipped or received. This does not mean ALL orders from those dates are shipped – rather these are cases we have documented (order date vs. receipt date). Others who have ordered as far back as the beginning of Oct has not yet received work on their shipments.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
A camera drone is an expensive investment – hopefully one that consumers put much thought and research into. While it is nice to “have it now” in the long run it’s the warmer months (N. Hemisphere) where most of us use our drones more.
Choices, Choices, Choices
The more patient among us will just order our Mavic Pro from DJI or another vendor and wait it out. If being given as a gift, perhaps a nice printout of the sale literature along with a nice note may be wrapped up with a ribbon and a bow. Others may decide to choose a different model – The Phantom 4 remains our top choice in a consumer drone and is readily available. Camera drones from $425 to $1500 are compared and rated in our 2016 Camera Drone Slugfest article linked here.
Your First Drone?
Those just entering the pursuit of flying cameras should read our eBook “Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones” available for FREE download at this link. There are also links to our free books about the DJI Phantom models…all of these books will help you understand the products, the possibilities and operate your new drone in a safe and reliable manner.
A Prosumer – or would-be Commercial Drone User?
Rumor has it that DJI is introducing at least one – and perhaps two – upscale models in a few days (Mid-November). Of course, it is unlikely these models will be available for immediate shipment – but, it may be worth your while to check our site (or other Drone news sources) next week for any new announcements. Remember, the Mavic Pro (in our opinion) is a great hobby, backup and/or second drone – but the small cameras and sensors on a portable unit are not going to give a higher quality output that some of your clients may desire. As always, weigh your actual needs and try to find the model(s) that fit. We would be glad to offer our advice – just leave a facebook comment below or join our forums…or use any of the contact forms to inquire.