GoPro is Done With Drones
After entering the drone market in 2016 with its Karma drone, GoPro has announced it’s halting UAV production for good.
GoPro entered the camera-drone business in 2016 when it released the Karma, an unmanned aerial vehicle with 20 minutes of battery life that was recalled shortly after release due to a widespread issue of losing power mid-flight. Today, the company announced that it's vanquishing its drone line for good.
“GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory,” but “will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers,” GoPro said in an earnings report. In other words, get yours while the going’s good, if you’re interested in a dying, albeit now solid aerial GoPro gadget.
Of course, removing the Karma from the GoPro conveyor belt means a whole lot of employees are no longer worth the company’s money. The earnings report indicates that GoPro will be “reducing its global workforce from 1,254 employees…to fewer than 1,000 employees worldwide.”
That’s quite the drop, and one that will surely cause quite a stir in the halls of GoPro’s offices. In a seeming effort to assuage some of this frustration, CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his salary for 2018 to $1. Frankly, this is quite the act of solidarity, and though his financial situation is likely very secure, acts that focus on morale and a sense of family in corporations as big as this one are always a good sign.
GoPro says the Karma drone reached the No. 2 spot in its price range last year, but several key factors have led the company to conclude its continued existence to be financially risky. At the core of this decision, according to the report, is GoPro’s sense that “a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead.”
While that may be a viable defense, it seems more likely that selling a $799 drone, which was publicly and controversially recalled, isn’t easy, and GoPro seems to have run out of ideas on how to market this thing and is tired of trying.