2016 was not a great year for GoPro. The action camera maker had a rough year with Karma drone recall, disappointing sales, and Hero 5 production issues. GoPro would want to learn its lessons and then forget about 2016. However, adventure enthusiasts are eager to know what the company has in store for the future. Now Nick Woodman has confirmed that there will be a GoPro Hero 6 this year.
GoPro Hero 6: Woodman envisions a spherical camera
Responding to a query from Paul Coster of JPMorgan Securities, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman said the company will launch “new cameras and accessories” in 2017, and the new camera being Hero 6. However, Woodman declined to provide details on the launch schedule of upcoming products. Coster wanted to know whether the company would release new Hero cameras this year or stick to a two-year release timeline. There was a two-year gap between Hero 4 (2014) and Hero 5 (2016).
What new features the GoPro Hero 6 would bring is anyone’s guess. But Nick Woodman shared his vision for a spherical camera with Engadget a few weeks ago. Customers already use GoPro cameras to record 360-degree content. Woodman plans to make the content easier to share. He envisions a future where users will be able to record their activities with a single multi-lensed GoPro. It would create a spherical video that you can watch back on your phone.
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GoPro incurred a loss of $116 million in the latest quarter due to Hero 5 production issues and the recall of Karma drones. The drone was recalled after many users complained that it was falling from the sky. GoPro discovered that the failures were caused by a faulty battery that was popping out of place, which caused power loss. The company has relaunched the drone after fixing the issue. Woodman admitted that the Karma drone recall was “embarrassing.”
Will GoPro return to profitability this year?
In an attempt to return to profitability, GoPro has closed offices and shut down the entertainment division. For the full-year 2016, the company incurred a loss of $373 million on revenues of $1.185 billion. The revenues were $200 million less than GoPro’s own conservative estimate. For the fourth quarter, the company recorded revenues of $540 million, missing the Wall Street estimates by $30 million.
GoPro also took a $102 million charge for the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets. Its shares plunged about 15% after the earnings release. The only saving grace was Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session. According to NPD, these two were first and second best-selling digital cameras in the US during the holiday quarter. Nick Woodman said GoPro sold two million cameras during the fourth quarter.