Speculations are rife about the DJI Phantom series being axed by its manufacturer. The rumour spread rapidly as a result of DJI’s Director of Public Safety Integration Romeo Durscher’s statement in a Drone Owners Network Live webcast that the company is planning to cease the production of Phantom series drones except for Phantom 4 pro-RTK. He was answering a query about the likely time that Phantom 4 series devices would be back in stock to which he replied with this statement: “Yes, the Phantom line with the exception of the Phantom 4 Pro RTK has come to an end.”
DJI immediately denied rumours surrounding the Phantom 4 and Phantom 5 in response to the reports saying that the death of the Phantom drones is not true. “Romeo misspoke,” DJI communications director Adam Lisberg told The Verge. “Due to a shortage of parts from a supplier, DJI is unable to manufacture more Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 drones until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and recommend our customers explore DJI’s Mavic series drones as an alternative solution to serve their needs,” the company statement said.
Adam Lisberg added that the company never had plans of launching the Phantom 5 drone in the markets. So, there is no chance of it getting cancelled. As for the leaked images of a suspected Phantom 5 last fall he said that those were of the sample design product for a customer. Even if the rumours lack substance, the loyal DJI fans will miss out the Phantom 5 and will have to settle on the Mavic series drones. Fans and critics alike are speculative about this very lengthy parts shortage. Many feel it would be short-sighted of DJI to ditch its original, iconic drone design.
Meanwhile a former employee of DJI was sentenced to six months in prison and fined RMB 200,000 for unauthorized disclosure of the company’s data to code-sharing platform Github, according to the prosecutor involved in the case. The codes revealed included those used in an aircraft management platform and spraying system solution, which caused losses of RMB 1.14 million ($170,000) for the company, according to DJI. The office of the People’s Procuratorate of Shenzhen posted this information on WeChat without revealing the company’s name.
As per reports from The Economic Observer, the drone company reported to police that one of its servers had been hacked in September 2017. An American researcher named Kevin Finisterre, referred to as a “hacker” by Chinese media, sought out the data as part of DJI’s de-bugging program, which pays cash rewards to individuals who report bugs to the company. DJI reportedly launched the bug bounty program following a US Army memo that asked its members to discontinue using DJI drones due to cyber-security concerns.
According to prosecutors the unnamed employee, a 28-year-old engineer turned himself in immediately to the local police, and deleted the data after the investigation saying that it was an unintentional slip on his part. He’s subsequently been jailed for six months.
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