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09 January 2018, 12:25 | Vera Richards
GoPro exits drone market, puts itself up for sale
GoPro is killing its drone business and slashing 20% of its staff after reporting weak demand for its products. GoPro said it will reduce its global workforce from 1,254 employees to fewer than 1,000 employees worldwide, leaving at least 250 out of work.
Camera-maker GoPro said it is getting out of the drone business following "hostile" regulations in the United States and Europe. Instead, GoPro said narrow margins and a hostile regulatory market in Europe and the USA make the drone market "untenable".
GoPro, whose cameras and drones are mostly used by sports junkies and travel enthusiasts, cut the price of its Hero6 cameras to US$399 from US$499 and said that would hurt revenue by around US$80 million in the current quarter.
GoPro projected fourth-quarter sales of $340 million, well below the $474 million expected by analysts. That followed multiple reports of technical issues, which caused the drones to drop from the sky as they were flying.
GoPro initially put the Karma on sale in October 2016, but pulled it from the market after just 16 days. The company has always been criticized by investors for failing to diversify its product line away from its action cameras, which cater mainly to extreme sports enthusiasts. Given the concerns about less expensive alternatives eating away at GoPro's action-camera market share, this price cut is not a good development. CEO Nick Woodman, speaking to CNBC, commented on the company's plans: "If there are opportunities for us to unite with a bigger parent company to scale GoPro even bigger, that is something that we would look at".
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