DJI to Phase Out Several Enterprise Drones and Cameras, Spurring Mavic 3 Rumors
BY Zacc Dukowitz8 April 2021
DJI recently shared phaseout plans for several different enterprise products, including five drone series, four Zenmuse cameras, and its Flight Simulator.
For many, the biggest news will be that the Matrice 200 series and the Zenmuse XT thermal camera will no longer be serviced after this year.
This shouldn’t be very surprising, since production stopped for both of these products back in 2019. But if you own either of these products, you might be a little concerned to know that DJI will no longer help you with them after December 31, 2021.
The Matrice 200 (Photo credit: DJI)
While these kinds of phaseouts are fairly common, the sheer size of the list of products seems remarkable.
When taken in combination with DJI’s recent move to bypass resellers and sell enterprise drones directly—a controversial choice with implications for the entire drone industry—this large-scale phaseout could be seen as a move to tighten control over its enterprise sales by shortening the list of products available for enterprise applications.
Another reason for the phaseouts could be that DJI is downsizing production and offerings in order to maximize profits.
As the drone industry’s largest company, DJI has often cannibalized its own sales by releasing products that compete with each other directly or indirectly. It could be that now, with the threat of country-of-origin bans looming in the U.S. and driving a potential loss of market share for its enterprise applications, DJI wants to tighten its belt by removing extraneous products.
A prime example would be the Matrice 200 and Matrice 200 V2. Both are go-to drones for public safety agencies in the U.S. (among other commercial applications). But they compete fairly directly with the more expensive Matrice 300—and that could be why they’re being phased out.
Of course, this is all just speculation. For all we know, DJI had these phaseouts planned for some time and current events haven’t impacted its plans all that much.
The Products Being Phased Out
DJI’s blog post detailing the items being phased out includes a huge chart with drones, cameras, and other products listed in a fairly jumbled order.
Below we’ve broken these out by type—drones, cameras, and other products—so you can more easily see the phaseout information.
Here are definitions for the phrases used in the phaseout charts, each of which indicates a different stage in the process:
- End-of-Production (EOP)—production discontinued.
- End-of-Availability (EOA)—sales by DJI discontinued.
- End-of-Development (EOD)—software updates by DJI for the product discontinued (does not apply when major security issues are involved).
- End-of-Service (EOS)—maintenance and technical support services by DJI discontinued.
- N/A—not applicable (i.e., doesn’t apply to that specific product).
- TBD—date to be decided.
Note: If there was no date available for a given category in DJI’s charts the acronym for the category was simply repeated (for example, EOA would appear for the End-of-Availability column where there was no date, instead of leaving the space blank). We found this practice confusing, and have left these areas blank in the charts below.
Here’s what we mean:
Enterprise Drones Being Phased Out
- The Matrice 200 and the Spreading Wings Series will no longer be supported after the end of this year.
- The Matrice 200 V2 has already stopped being made.
- The Matrice 600, the Mavic 2 Enterprise, the Mavic 2 Dual, and the Matrice 600 Pro will all stop being made by the end of this year. That means that all of the models currently for sale are the last ones that will ever be available (except for buying them used, of course).
The Matrice 200 V2 (Photo credit: DJI)
Enterprise Cameras Being Phased Out
- The Zenmuse XT will no longer be supported after the end of this year.
- The Zenmuse XT2 has already stopped being made and the Zenmuse XT S will stop being made at the end of this month.
- The Zenmuse Z30 will stop being made at the end of this year.
The Zenmuse XT (Photo credit: DJI)
Other Enterprise Products Being Phased Out
- It looks like DJI might be working on a new flight simulator, since that product made the list. On the other hand, all of the flight simulator entries are TBD, so it’s hard to tell what its inclusion here is really means.
- It also looks like a new Manifold computer may be coming out, since the original Manifold won’t be supported after the end of this year and the Manifold 2 won’t be made after the end of this year.
The Lightbridge 2 (Photo credit: DJI)
Could Some of These Phaseouts Be Related to a Mavic 3 Release?
The Matrice phaseouts listed above—of the 200, 200 V2, and even the 600—could indicate that DJI is trying to shift focus solely to the Matrice 300 for all those customers who might currently use or be interested in those other Matrice models.
Similarly, the fact that two enterprise Mavic models—the Mavic 2 Dual and the Mavic 2 Enterprise—are scheduled for phaseouts this year has indicated to some that DJI is trying to clear out products that might compete with a forthcoming Mavic 3.
But lately it seems like Mavic 3 rumors have become a little like sasquatch sightings. Although they’ve been circulating for some time now, all the proof we’ve seen has been fairly speculative, relying on vague drawings or inconclusive patent applications.
When you compare the anemic leaks we’ve seen for the Mavic 3 to the treasure trove of information we got ahead of the DJI FPV release or the Mavic Mini 2 release—both of which received full, in-depth unboxing videos on YouTube by leakers before they were launched—it’s a little hard to be confident about a Mavic 3’s imminent release, or even to be sure that one will be made.
What do you think about DJI’s enterprise phaseouts—can we read anything into them about forthcoming products or a shift in strategy, or are they just a regular part of running a drone business? Share your thoughts on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum.