DJI is out with an apology to those who ordered the Mavic Pro (Amazon). That follows two short statements following the lack of shipping units in the past couple of weeks. Consumers were dragging out the pitchforks, but the drone behemoth insisted it is shipping units.

And the DJI Mavic Pro units are shipping. It’s as fast as they can get them out the door. Here’s the issue. Any orders before November 3 should arrive within the next 7-8 weeks. That inevitably places some buyers outside the holiday season and anyone that buys today seems to be left out of the holiday spirit.

A glass half full look is DJI is giving themselves one hell of timeframe to clear orders and keep shipping new ones, but that’s doubtful. Count on delays if you order a Mavic Pro from the company.

DJI Mavic Pro Apology Letter

It’s straight from the company, and the bolded areas are mine:

We owe you an apology for our delays in delivering the new Mavic Pro. We want to thank you for your patience and also advise that we are looking into improving our order process and systems, based largely on your feedback.

When we announced Mavic Pro and began accepting pre-orders, we expected to deliver the first units in mid-October. However, ramping up production to full speed at top quality took longer than planned. Prior to our scheduled shipping target, we encountered an issue integrating a part into the Mavic Pro. We resolved that within a week. On top of that, the excitement for the Mavic Pro beat our expectations. As a result, we are working diligently to ramp up production to meet the higher-than-anticipated demand for the Mavic Pro.

We have been shipping for nearly two weeks, but even with round-the-clock production, we, unfortunately, cannot give specific delivery estimates for many orders moving through various global sales channels because of this demand. For Mavic Pro orders received before November 3, 2016, we will do our best to clear them all within the next seven to eight weeks.

Some of you waiting for your Mavic Pro also expressed concern about our immediate billing of pre-orders. We’ve heard you and are examining potential alternatives with our payment provider.

DJI exists to put amazing technology and innovation into your hands, and we’re sorry it’s taking so long with Mavic Pro. Our internal systems haven’t kept up with the enormous demand for our products, and your enthusiasm for our newest offering is spurring us to improve. We appreciate your understanding and are doing everything we can to get Mavic Pro to you as quickly as possible.

Mavic Pro Battery Issue or Something Else?

When the shipping was delayed, the consensus thinking was battery shortages. The statement implies a part which integrates within the Mavic Pro itself. It could still be the battery, but not shortages.

Whatever the issue is, DJI solved it within a week. When more units get out in the wild, watch for any problems which appear to be common on forums – both DJI and third-party. If there’s a quality issue, expect it to pop up immediately. DJI is solid in manufacturing – I’ve crashed my P3P a few times and had zero problems. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Undoubtedly demand was and still is high for the Mavic Pro. It stomped all over the GoPro Karma announcement, and this review of the two drones side by side is horrific for GoPro:

DJI Alternatives

If the kids or adults need a drone for Christmas, there are great options out there. The Phantom series may not fit in your pocket, but it is incredible. If you’re sold on the Mavic Pro (Amazon), but want something under the tree, stay in the lane of Phantom 3s. A Phantom 3 Standard sets you back $500, while the Phantom 3 Pro rings the register at $999.

dji-phantom-sideview

Want similar tech as the Mavic Pro? Your best bet is the Phantom 4. We’ve reviewed it, and it’s a great drone. The camera is actually a bit better on FOV, and if you have a need for speed, it’s got you covered. Pricing has been cut to $1200 to make room for inevitable Phantom 4 Pro.

dji-canyon-product

What about the GoPro Karma? The video above has me doubting the Karma in its current form. Maybe the next iteration, but it doesn’t solve your holiday woes.

There are other drone manufacturers out there, but DJI is the standard bearer on consumer and prosumer drones. The drones listed above have similar technology as the Mavic Pro – the Phantom 4 being the closest in performance and technology.

DJI’s Failure to Communicate

It’s easy to be upset when you have preordered and we are two weeks into shipping, and you don’t have a drone. DJI should have got out in front on the manufacturing issue to let consumers know it was fixed but delays were coming.

It’s understandable to laud the crazy demand and stellar reviews of the Mavic Pro. But instead of two quick statements stating nothing, the apology statement today should have been a week ago. Would people have complained? Sure, but never discount the amount of goodwill a company can earn by being forthcoming.

DJI should have released this statement a week ago in this form. People who love the DJI brand would have grumbled but also said ‘shit happens.’ You have a pocket-sized drone with specs outstripping the recently released Phantom 4. Of course, there would be insane demand.

All DJI had to do was inform the consumer that damn, you folks are ordering a ton of Mavic Pros. The company doesn’t have Apple’s production capacity, so delays were coming. Not two statements talking up the demand but leaving consumers wondering what the hell was happening.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s always better to be out in front of issues. Customer service shines best in turbulent times.