The maker of popular action cameras, GoPro, has announced in a public statement during its most recent quarterly earnings results that it will be exiting the drone market after the remaining inventory of its ill-fated Karma drone sells out.
They cited the challenges of turning a profit in an “extremely competitive” market.
The San Mateo, California-based company said that narrow margins coupled with a hostile regulatory market in Europe and the US that it claimed would “reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead” have made the unmanned aerial vehicle market “untenable.“
The Karma drone “reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017,” but the product faces “margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market.”
Just a few days ago, GoPro said it would be cutting 200 to 300 jobs from its Karma drone division. The company has held several rounds of layoffs since going public in 2014.
Although the $799 Karma drone, announced in September 2016 and yet unfinished, would be the last drone it would make, GoPro will continue to service and support Karma owners.
However, no new drones will be developed in the future.
News also broke that GoPro has put itself up for sale, but its CEO Nick Woodman has contested the rumor and said that GoPro has not engaged JPMorgan for a potential sale.
“If there were an opportunity for GoPro to partner up with a larger organization that would help us scale, that’s certainly something we would consider,” Woodman said in an interview with Bloomberg TV, which you can watch embedded below.
“Our job is to align GoPro with consumer behavior and look for opportunities to expand the appeal and reach and relevance of GoPro.”
“Sometimes that’s easier if done with a partner or an acquiring company,” Woodman added.
The company slashed his pay to $1 over its rocky financials (they lost $373 million in 2016).
The unfortunate news comes just as drone leader DJI ahead of CES 2018 updated its DJI Go iPhone app with new features and unveiled a second-generation OSMO Mobile stabilizer, as well as a brand new Ronin-S gimbal for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.