Bad Karma: GoPro bails on drone plans
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nick Woodman, the founder of GoPro, fought back emotion as he confirmed the company is withdrawing from the drone market and that hundreds of employees will be let go.
The GoPro Karma drone, which was released in late 2016, seemed like the perfect addition to the company’s line-up of go-anywhere action cameras, and the company hoped that their offering would lead the market.
But the Karma had problems from the outset and was infamously blindsided by DJI's revolutionary Mavic Pro drone announced just days later.
Worse still, the Karma was recalled just 16 days after launch following critical reviews and the discovery it was susceptible to losing power mid-flight. Once the issues were rectified, it went on to have a successful, but brief reign in the American market, but the success of the Mavic meant it was always playing catch-up.
Despite the later popularity of Karma, Woodman admitted that the “mass consumer market for drones is not as big as everybody thought it was going to be,” and that pursuing it was something that GoPro could no longer afford.