dji phantom drone
Kike Calvo—Redux

The drone dominator

China is often characterized as a source of cheap components and labor, not the home of market-dominating consumer tech companies with pioneering innovations. But that’s exactly the story of DJI, a Shenzhen-based firm that towers over the consumer and professional drone industry. Selling everything from the hulking $4,999 Hollywood-calibur Matrice 600 Pro to the palm-sized $399 selfie-snapping Spark, DJI is the nearly undisputed king of the quadcopters, with an estimated 72% market share globally. Its newest drones, the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, capture remarkable photos and high-resolution video, stay airborne for up to 31 minutes, and fold up for easy carrying. Drone fans eagerly await DJI’s product announcements, because with each new generation of hardware, it unveils features that set standards for the industry. DJI’s drones are reinventing family vacation photos (you can gesture to your drone to take a selfie) even as they are helping companies in fields like energy, telecommunications, and construction get new perspectives on their work. “From this simple platform of flight stabilization, people have found a new creative storytelling medium, started multi-million dollar businesses and even saved lives,” says DJI Founder and CEO Frank Wang. —Alex Fitzpatrick

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