Sales are high for GoPro, but confidence in the firm drops after Karma recall

gopro reports mixed 2016 financials hero5 black review
Les Shu/Digital Trends
The GoPro Hero 5 is the best-selling digital camera in several regions including the U.S., but despite the relaunch of the Karma on February 1, the recall is making what would otherwise be a bright spot in the company’s history look rather bleak. Despite the success of the Hero 5, the firm’s stock price dropped by $.82 per share in the last quarter of 2016, indicating that while sales may be improving, confidence in the company has been affected by the recall.

According to the latest financial reports, the Hero5 was the best-selling digital imaging device both in the number of cameras and total spent in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Features like voice control and stabilization brought a much-needed update to the GoPro line two years after the Hero4. The company says the GoPro Hero Session is estimated to be the second-best-selling camera in the U.S. The action camera’s success resulted in the second highest quarterly earnings in the company’s history, although the firm posted a loss for the year.

Launched at the same time, the Karma was expected to be a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year for the company, but just a few weeks after the drone launched, the company voluntarily recalled it when some units lost power mid-flight. The issue was a simple fix to the battery latch to keep the battery in place, but identifying the issue has not prevented the firm’s stock price from falling.

The recall likely could not have happened at a worse time, as the company was already struggling, with several manufacturers introducing competitive products with similar features as the older Hero4. Shortly after the recall, GoPro announced a restructuring plan with 200 layoffs.

January saw a stock price rise for the company, up by 23 percent in the first month of the year. But, a day after relaunching the recalled Karma, those numbers dropped by ten percent in after-hours trading.

Along with the highlights of the Hero5 sales, the company also noted that the number of Quick Mobile app users tripled, while the company’s social media followers also grew, with Instagram up by 53 percent and views on YouTube up by 86 percent.

According to founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, the company will continue to adjust costs to return to profitability. “In 2016, big investments in hardware, cloud, and mobile yielded a solid foundational experience for our customers,” he said. “In 2017, we will build on this foundation for our customers while improving efficiency and managing cost to achieve profitability.”

Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Home Theater

OLED or LED? We pick the winner in the battle of competing TV tech

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!