Arguably GoPro's (NASDAQ: GPRO) most important product launch in its history took place on Thursday, and customers and investors shouldn't be disappointed. The Fusion 360 camera was introduced to the world, Karma got some updates, and Hero6 was launched as well.
Here are the highlights from each product and why they could jump-start GoPro's business this year.
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Fusion is here
GoPro has been building toward a 360 camera launch for a few years, and it's finally here. Fusion includes a waterproof shell, is mountable on GoPro's plethora of mounts, and includes voice control. Its stabilization and overcapture are also big selling points for the camera trying to dominate a new niche in the market.
Overcapture is something GoPro has been talking about for months, but the company showed it off to customers in the launch presentation. A camera can capture a full 360 video, then within the app you can pull the perspective you want into a 2D video by using your phone as a control. It's like virtual reality (VR) but in reverse.
Shipments for the Fusion camera will start in November, and it will cost $699. It's a fair price that will make the camera compelling to thousands of consumers wanting to get in on 360 videos. And it'll drum up some new excitement for GoPro.
Karma gets an update
Karma didn't get an overhaul, but it did get some important updates. There's a new tilt-up feature that will tilt the camera to capture images above it, and a new follow feature that's become standard on DJI drones.
The price of $799 or $1,199 with Hero6 is competitive, even if DJI drones are still superior in a lot of ways. But with a carrying case, gimbal, and removable camera, this is now becoming a more compelling drone for consumers.
Hero6 is the new flagship
The most important launch financially for GoPro will be the Hero6. The camera now has 4k video at 60 frames per second (fps), 2.7k at 120 fps, and 1080 at 240 fps. The added frames allow for slow-motion capture that's becoming common on most smartphones.
Improved image stabilization and upgraded Wi-Fi transfer should also help users capture and upload images to their favorite social media sites more easily. And Quik Stories should make the process of editing videos very simple.
The $499 price tag is an increase from $399 for the Hero5 Black, which will stay in the lineup. In fact, Hero5 Session and Hero Session are still in the lineup at $299 and $149.99, respectively.
A new level of excitement this holiday season
With Fusion and Hero6, GoPro has some compelling new camera offerings this holiday season. That should boost sales and margins, potentially bringing the company back to sustained profitability.
Keeping lower-priced cameras in the lineup should also make GoPro accessible for consumers looking for a great gift this year.
GoPro seems to be learning that it needs to push the envelope in product development to impress customers. And Thursday's product launch was a step in the right direction for the company and hopefully the stock.
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