The fast-growing consumer drone industry should not copy the model of personal computer and smartphone businesses where one chip company controls nearly the whole market, said a senior official from DJI Technology Co Ltd.
“If only one company controls nearly the whole market with excessively high royalty payments, it will harm technology innovation of the whole industry,” Shao Jianhuo, vice-president of DJI, told China Daily.
Shao’s comments came as chipmakers Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc are both expanding into drones to diversify away from their respective core markets of PC and smartphone chips.
When asked whether DJI, which controls 70 percent of the world’s civilian drone market, would develop its own chips for drones, Shao said: “We will keep a close eye on chip technology development and cooperate with various chip companies.”
Shao said DJI has no plans for public listing for the time being and product development is the top priority.
Shao said a recent Bloomberg report that DJI would share all data of its drones with the Chinese government, which raised privacy concerns overseas as 80 percent of DJI’s drones are for exports, is not accurate.
“It is required by aviation regulatory departments in China, the US or anywhere in the world that aerial vehicles must report its flight records, such as location, altitude and speed, for safety concerns. But it is up to customers to decide whether to share their pictures and video shots publicly. We will not store any private information.”
Quite a mouthful from the usually close-mouthed DJI executive team. They have obviously learned the lessons of letting one supplier dominate the market. While Qualcomm and Intel are obvious candidates, one would also think that ARM, with their dominant position in the smartphone market, could be a contender.