A decade ago, GoPro was the highest selling action camera brand in the world; however, the company’s attempts to expand into the mainstream have resulted in their inability to compete with the enormous popularity of the smartphone.
As a result of GoPro’s recent attempts to return to profitability, the company has just completed its third round of layoffs in just over a year. With an estimated restricting bill of up to $10 million (mainly relating to severance costs), the company faces the tough and possibly unrealistic task of convincing people with smartphones to purchase an additional camera.
Company CEO and Founder Nick Woodman recently took part in an interview with CNBC announcing: “we failed to make GoPro contemporary and failed to align GoPro to the smartphone movement. The smartphone has set a new bar for convenience.” Woodman’s comments reflect the company’s recent slump in shares (falling 76% from 2014) and even after stock rising 15% due to cost cuts, GoPro is far from being out of the woods. There have been recent struggles following the launch of both the Hero 5 Session camera and the Karma drone, with price drops and the drone being recalled due to production issues. While GoPro action cameras may not be considered ideal for conventional photography, due to the absence of a viewfinder, it is still worth remembering exactly what this clever little compact camera has to offer.
The GoPro cameras offer an array of useful features including a super wide-angle lens (which is durable, shockproof, and can be waterproof), convenient expandable storage, recently updated touch screen, improved 4K videos, superior image quality, and the advantage of the photographer being able to mount their small and compact camera virtually anywhere. Smartphones currently have accessories on the market that are designed to assist in mounting the camera; however, they can prove to be both cumbersome and limiting when shooting extreme action footage. What the smartphone does bring to the table, however, is convenience. In a world where instant gratification often supersedes quality, the conundrum between the two rivals is set to continue well into the foreseeable future.
[via Business Insider]