GoPro’s Karma Drone Gets Grounded

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Say the word “drone” to someone and they will immediately rattle off a list of brands and models of drones along with their specifications. Among these brands, you would hear names like DJI, Parrot, YUNEEC, Protocol, Autel Robotics and GoPro. We’ve also seen drones acting as waiters as well.

Launched in 2002 by Nick Woodman, GoPro is a company that manufactures action cameras and also has their own lineup of mobile apps and video editing apps as well.

What goes around comes around?

GoPro also launched their own lineup of drones back in 2016. Called the Karma, the drone was available at around $800 without an accompanying camera or $1,100 with a camera. While the company had high hopes for the Karma drone, it proved to be a tad on the expensive side and also had a flaw where the drone would lose power while in flight.

GoPro
The GoPro Karma (Image Credits: TechCrunch)

Now it seems that the aptly named drone is coming to bite them in the back. Amidst a loss of $373 Million for the year 2016, GoPro’s financials also failed to improve across 2017. As a result, the company announced that they would be stopping the manufacturing and sale of the Karma drone. The company also noted that this decision was partly due to the new regulations on drones that are being implemented in the US and across Europe.

No Good Karma for GoPro

Accordingly, GoPro will fly out of the drone market once the last Karma is sold. Not wanting to leave customers in a whirl, the company also stated that they would continue to provide service and support to existing Karma users.

GoPro
The flagship GoPro Hero6 too underwent a price cut from $499 to $399 (Image Credits: Digital Trends)

GoPro was already forced to drop prices on their primary camera, the HERO5, because of poor sales during the holiday season. The HERO6 Black too followed suit, dropping from $499 to $399. With the Karma drone no more, it would make sense for them to redouble their efforts on making camera sales great again.

That’s not all though

In addition to grounding their drones, GoPro also announced that they would be cutting their current 1,254 strong workforce to less than 1,000. This would mark the fourth time that GoPro has carried out a round of job cuts. The founder, Nicholas Woodman has also added that he would be cutting his annual pay to USD $1. No, he’s not reducing it by 1 dollar. He’s actually getting an annual pay of 1 dollar.

GoPro
GoPro would be reducing its staff from 1,254 to less than a 1,000 (Image Credits: Human Resources Online)

According to Woodman, GoPro’s new hardware and software plans, coupled with lower operation expenses should allow the company to be profitable again. Then again, that’s a big “if”.

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