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DJI Discontinues Production of Phantom 4 Pro, Drone Enthusiasts Are Ready for Phantom 5 Release

BY Zacc Dukowitz
21 March 2019

DJI recently announced that the Phantom 4 Pro is no longer in production, which is leading to speculation that they might be gearing up to release the Phantom 5.

Right now, when you go to the Phantom 4 Pro page on the DJI website you see this notice:

phantom-4-pro-screenshot

Historically, DJI has stopped producing previous Phantom models when they release or are about to release a new one. For example, the Phantom 3 has been out of production since the 4 was released.

Now that the Phantom 4 Pro has been discontinued (and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has been out of stock since November of last year), it seems like a Phantom 5 release could be coming any day.

All this being said, we’ve been fooled before when it comes to anticipating a Phantom 5 release. Back in November of 2018 rumors were flying about the imminent release of the 5 but, of course, that didn’t end up happening.

Other Reasons the Phantom 4 Pro Could Have Been Discontinued

Even though the Phantom 4 Pro is no longer in production and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is permanently out of stock, an upcoming release of the Phantom 5 may not be the cause.

Emphasizing the Mavic

It could be that DJI is trying to stop the cannibalization of their own products by cutting down on the number of prosumer drones they have on the market, with the goal of prioritizing their Mavic line.

This idea is somewhat bolstered by the promotion of the Mavic 2 Pro as an alternative to the Phantom 4 Pro on DJI’s site. We also currently see three different Mavics promoted on the Phantom 3 Pro page as alternatives (the Mavic Pro Platinum, the Mavic 2 Pro, and the Mavic 2 Zoom).

phantom-3-mavic-options

Parts Hard to Get Due to Fraud

Another idea out there about why production of the Phantom 4 Pro has been discontinued is that DJI simply can’t make the Phantom 4 Pro because they’ve cut key relationships with part suppliers due to the widespread fraud that was recently uncovered at the company.

In case you haven’t heard, back in January DJI uncovered widespread fraud within the company, which they said at the time will cost them up to $150 million. Employees were falsely inflating the costs of parts and materials and pocketing the difference—at least fourteen employees were fired over the discovery.

Adding fuel to this theory is a recent Tweet from DJI that reads, in part, “…due to a shortage of parts from a supplier, DJI is unable to manufacture more phantom 4 Pro V2.0 drones until further notice.”

DJI-Phantom-4-tweet

Note: The bold was added by us in the above quote.

DJI Has Been Teasing the Phantom 5 Release for a While Now

As mentioned above, back in November of 2018 there was a lot of buzz in the industry that DJI might release the Phantom 5 at their Life is Big event last year. (Instead they released the Osmo Pocket.)

But if DJI is planning a release, they’ve been fairly quiet about it.

All the same, rumors persists about what improvements we might see in the Phantom 5. Some of the rumors include:

  • Longer Control Distance—The 5 will have a control distance of almost 5 miles (8,000 meters), and may even reach as far as 6.2 miles (10,000 meters).
  • Increased Speed—While the 4 can only go 45 mph (72 kph), the 5 will be able to go 55 mph (88 kph).
  • Obstacle Avoidance—The 5 will have obstacle avoidance in all six directions (i.e., up, down, and in the four cardinal directions).
  • Improved Camera—The camera that comes with the 5 will have a 1-inch sensor and 3x optical zoom, and will most likely be made by new DJI partner Hasselblad.

But of course, this is all still speculation.

As the next few weeks unfold we’ll be interested to see whether DJI starts signaling an imminent release of the Phantom 5, or if they simply keep pushing the Mavic and trying to draw attention away from the Phantom 4 Pro and the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, which would indicate some other motive behind the stop in production.

Do you think the Phantom 5 release might be just around the corner? Chime in on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum to share your thoughts.

Zacc Dukowitz

Contributing Writer

A writer with professional experience in education technology and digital marketing, Zacc Dukowitz is passionate about reporting on the drone industry at a time when UAVs can help us live better lives. Zacc also holds the rank of nidan in Aikido, a Japanese martial art, and is a widely published fiction writer. Zacc has an MFA from the University of Florida and a BA from St. John's College. Follow @zaccdukowitz or check out zaccdukowitz.com to read his work.

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