GoPro’s recalled Karma drone to relaunch in 2017

Karma Core

So the information fairies were right when they told us back in December that GoPro was trying again with Karma. Quite how much trust the fickle drone market has in the product cannot be judged.

The technically superior DJI Mavic is beginning to arrive in numbers now. GoPro has perhaps missed the boat. Christmas is the most important drone sales window.

Mavic has a better camera than the GoPro 5, has detect sense and avoid and will see a price drop when GoPro try again. It might push DJI to bring out the Phantom 5 and slash the cost of the Phantom 4 Pro, which is a much much better machine than Karma ever was. Giving DJI notice of your intentions must be commercial suicide, they will react.

I did not like what I saw when a teardown video on YouTube let us look inside Karma. There are going to have to be some changes to make the PX4 inside work properly along with the immature DroneCode code that GoPro is using. Some are calling out a wiring/battery fault; I think not.

Will the price drop radically below cost? The last few 3DR Solos are currently $299 at BestBuy. It is the drone most similar to Karma. In fact, it actually has a better upgradable flight controller inside so in a little way it is future proof.

Did the class action suit against GoPro because of Karma prompt today’s press release?

“It’s more than a drone”, it’s an intriguing story that does not want to go away. Storytelling is how GoPro are still trying to sell the GoPro 5 and Karma. Tricky, as they laid off their story distribution boffins.

GoPro didn’t say much at all about Karma in the press release:

GoPro is also showcasing its drone, Karma, which is set to re-launch in 2017.

Erlich Bachman added:

“For GoPro, 2017 is all about mobile storytelling — HERO5 and the Quik app enable exactly that,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s Founder and CEO. “Advanced users can take their stories to the next level with Karma Grip stabilisation and our drone, Karma.”

It sounds to me like they are trotting out the same noise that got them into this mess in the first place.

Emperor’s new clothes anyone?