Action camera giant GoPro has exited the drone market, announcing that its Karma drone will be its first and last foray in to the aerial world.
First announced in late 2016, the drone struggled to get off the ground, facing recalls (the drone would stop working mid flight) and poor sales. While GoPro cites the competitiveness of the market – dominated by the likes of DJI – for the struggles, though the drone’s steep price could also be a contributing factor.
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In its end of year report, GoPro said “Although Karma reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market.
“Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead”.
On top of this, and following multiple poor financial reports of the last couple of years, GoPro will reportedly lay off 250 staff members (the fourth round of job cuts since 2016) or around 15 per cent of its workforce, mostly from its aerial division.
The cuts follow lower than anticipated sales over the holiday period, even with price slashes of the company’s top models, the Hero 5 and Hero 6 Black.
The news is followed by a report on Reuters that the company is open to a sale, albeit not actively seeking one. Although the company has hired J P Morgan it told Reuters that there is no active engagement to sell.
Cycling Weekly has contacted GoPro for a comment.