GoPro says that it will still produce new “camera and software” products this year and will return to profitability. Pocket-Lint was present at GoPro’s CES 2018 press briefing where the main topic was not product, but instead the current financial issues surrounding the company.
Regardless, GoPro founder Nick Woodman said the company’s “camera and software roadmap” hasn’t been affected by the recent restructure. “There is significant demand for GoPro at the right price.”
GoPro has shuttered its drone division (although the Karma will still be produced), restructured the business and aims to make products with greater margin for release in the latter part of this year.
Clearly affected by the decisions he’d had to take, Woodman defended his company, blaming the lack of a “significant direct competitor” for its failure to judge the pricing of its products correctly. In terms of drones, Woodman said that “the mass consumer market for drones is not as big as [we] thought it would be”.
While Woodman was keen to point out the new GoPro Hero6 Black has sold well due to “significant demand at the right price”, sales of older products have not because the company hadn’t discounted them enough. Since introducing $100 discounts in the last few days, said Woodman, demand for the Hero6 Black has increased 10 fold.
Saying it had been a difficult few days, Woodman said “can you think of another brand as global or large scale as GoPro that doesn’t have significant direct competition? It’s made it extremely difficult to judge the pricing sensitivity of our products and unfortunately that’s an extremely expensive way to learn.
“There were a few factors we weren’t aware of. We had more repeat customers than we’d anticipated… a good number of our customers already own older products.
“Those who skipped a cycle and [wanted to buy this year] didn’t want to buy the older products at the same price they were introduced at. We failed to discount our older product…even though the new products sold well.
“Why didn’t we see this before? Why didn’t we know we needed lower prices? Well GoPro doesn’t have a significant similar competitor to take market share when we make a product or pricing mistake.
“When GoPro [does this] more often than not the customer doesn’t buy GoPro and they don’t buy anything from our competitors. Our customers simply didn’t buy and that looks like a shrinking market.
"Now that we’ve had very good times and very bad times we can now see what [we need to do]." Woodman added that the company wasn't actively seeking to sell itself, but "we are open to opportunities should they arise".