Now that Karmas are falling out of the sky, is it a coincidence or clever business move by the drone manufacturing giant DJI?
It’s well known in the industry that GoPro suffered a big blow to sales a couple of years ago when DJI’s drones stopped supporting GoPro cameras as standard and started carrying their own cameras when the very successful Phantom 3 emerged.
Since then GoPro has been trying to catch up and for the most part failing. In my opinion by being too slow, going into an industry that they don’t necessarily know or have the skills to compete in and most of all in my view by trying to beat DJI at their own game instead of concentrating on making amazing cameras, which is what they’ve always been good at.
When the Karma was announced, to me as a pilot it was a bit underwhelming, and they tried to make it up by making it “portable” and having an exchangeable gimbal that can be handheld, but really for the the biggest problem with it was that it was a big clunky design where an ordinary gopro was at the base of it, and as a videographer that was the problem. There is no escaping that 2010 fish eye lens, which is great for some things, but not for most things I want to shoot.
So when the the DJI Mavic launched it pretty much blew the Karma out of the water on every point that the karma was trying to be good at and different on.
To add insult to injury, GoPro Q3 revenue has fallen 40% and much of the hope of recovery has been put in the Hero 5 and Karma sales. It looks like now that Karmas are literally falling out of the sky GoPro is recalling ALL of the Karmas ever sold, rumoured to be around 2500 units (surprisingly low number).
DJI’s Mavic launch was a resounding success with orders placed rumored to have surpassed Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 in previous launches, at the time the most successful DJI products. Because of this DJI has been having a hard time delivering Mavics to their customers on time, giving rise to people re-selling their brand new Mavics to other more impatient customers that will at least 30-40% more than the listed price.
In light of GoPro’s misfortune and what customers are already doing, it seems like DJI has quickly realised that they were charging too little for the Mavic and coupled with (here in the UK) currency fluctuations, it has been announced today that DJI prices have gone up across the board.
It will be an interesting and profitable holiday season for DJI as on of it’s main competitors falls, Mavic sales soar, and big product announcement will take place on Nov 15th.