If you were wondering where GoPro’s Karma drone was, then you weren’t alone. There was a lot of hype when the development of the drone was first announced and the company had initially said it would be out in the first half of 2016.
It turns out that it has been delayed until the 2016 holiday season, according to the company’s CEO Nick Woodman. The MarketWatch website says Woodman explained to analysts last week that “Karma’s features make it much more than a drone,” and that the release would be pushed back “to give ourselves more time to fine-tune these features”.
Consumer drone market leader DJI has had a good start to the year with the launch of the Phantom 4 and their heavy lifting Matrice 600. NAB saw a number of other rivals like Yuneec and Autel vying for the same slice of the pie. The Karma will have its work cut out if it is going to be a success. It will need some stand-out features, especially on the autonomous flight side of things, if it is going to attract consumers away from these more established drone makers.
With GoPro’s share price now a fraction of its peak, the news may at first glance appear to be bad. Woodman acknowledged that holding back the release was a last minute decision, but added: “The upside about the delay is it does allow us to launch Karma at a wonderful time of year”.
Also in the same report from MarketWatch, competitor 3D Robotics – maker of the Solo – shed staff earlier in the year. The website cited internal emails saying the company had produced too many, especially given that rivals had slashed prices.