Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

The Race to Become the Apple of Drones

One of the biggest technology battles brewing is the war over the flying camera. On one hand, there’s GoPro, the action camera company whose plans to build drones leaked last month. And then there is DJI, the Chinese consumer drone manufacturer, whose easy-to-fly quadcopters have been gaining traction with consumers. The latter recently announced a new platform for people to upload and share aerial photography.

Both bits of news are the kind of developments I have been awaiting for years.

Cameras unquestionably need to fly—you can see the stunning possibilities already with action sports. In the not too distant future, your selfie stick will be replaced by a throwable camera that will hover above you, take a few epic shots and land safely back in your hand. Eventually most video, from a baby’s first steps to weddings, will be taken by a little autonomous flying bot allowing you to stay in the moment.

And while it might seem like the drone wars are just starting and important privacy issues are still being sorted out, I think the winner is already becoming clear. DJI is pulling ahead and has three big advantages: product, technical expertise and talent. I think those will eventually overpower GoPro’s strengths of distribution and marketing.

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles


China’s DJI Raising Money at $15 Billion Valuation

By Yunan Zhang and Juro Osawa


GoPro’s Stock Rests on Potential Sale

By Alfred Lee

Amazon E-commerce

Behind Some Low Amazon Prices: Stolen Goods

By Reed Albergotti

Startups Policy

PAX Labs Boosts Legal, Policy Teams Ahead of Eventual IPO

By Nick Wingfield

I have heard from knowledgeable people that DJI had 2014 revenues that were somewhere between $300 million and $500 million.