DJI drone MWC 2017

Update 2/26: Recent buyers of the Phantom 4 Pro or the Inspire 2 can rest easy. DJI is expanding the Matrice line to include the Matrice 200 and 210. Those looking to get into the industrial and enterprise drone business now have a dedicated platform. Shipping is set for Q2. More info here.

DJI, the dominant consumer drone company, is at it again. Teasing us on Twitter of a possible new drone unveiling at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in March.

March 2, 2017. Let’s hope the manufacturing is ironed out or there’s release date lag time. Don’t pull a Mavic Pro.

So, what could it be? The first theory is a Phantom 5. It’s an obvious guess considering the Phantom 4 was released around this time last year. There would be pushback if that’s the case. The folks who just bought the recently released Phantom 4 Pro. Talk about an unhappy group if DJI does what Sony did with the a6300 and then a6500.

And then there’s the color. A black scheme similar to the Mavic Pro and Inspire 2. The Phantom line has stuck with some version of white for the duration of its existence. The Inspire 2 switched to the black scheme unlike the first. Could we be looking at a P4P Black Edition? No, and it’s all on the propulsion system. Compare the P4P with the teaser image.

DJI drone MWC 2017

phantom 4 pro

Not a P4P Black unless they went with a redesigned the propulsion system. It lends credence to a potential DJI Phantom 5. The company is moving away from white.

Another theory floating about is a new industrial use drone. Plausible, but at MWC 2017? Most industrial announcements get a press release due to the hyper-niche market. It’s interesting, but it seems like a stretch. Though the initial tweet was from the DJI Enterprise account. A little misdirection or an actual industrial announcement?

DJI and Hasselblad?

We all know DJI went from minority stakeholder to majority early this year (that deal was sealed way before January 2017). The partnership has seen one mashup with Hasselblad camera technology and DJI’s aerial division – a Matrice 600 paired with an A5D aerial camera. It’s not remotely cheap.

That was last summer. Could we see a prosumer drone with Hasselblad camera tech? It’s not Christmas yet but come on DJI. Use the camera tech. And, if the majority stake is to pay dividends, Hasselblad tech needs to be inside more affordable drones sooner than later.

What to call it? Would it make sense to stomp all over the Phantom 4 Pro’s performance with a Phantom 5? Potentially, but I hope not. Early adopters know they are buying a system that will inevitably refresh. Most prefer the upgrade to come a year later. Not months.

Why not a new tier? The Phantom 4 Pro could see a slight price drop making room for the DJI Hasselblad (not a bad name). Phantoms for the enthusiasts, whatever this is for the prosumer and the Inspire line for professionals or enthusiasts with plenty of expendable income.

Moving forward in this market, it will be all about the camera. The better the sensor, the happier we will all be. Maybe a slightly bigger footprint than the phantom but a 360-degree gimbal? Yeah, let me hope.

Sound off below. Are we looking at the Phantom 5? Could it be the first consumer drone to feature pieces of the Hasselblad stake? Lots of unknowns and it’s just the way DJI likes it.


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