GoPro Inc. is developing its own line of consumer drones to expand from its core business of making wearable video cameras popular with surfers and other sports enthusiasts, according to people familiar with its plans.
The company plans to start selling multi-rotor helicopters equipped with high-definition cameras late next year, aiming for a price tag between $500 and $1,000, according to these people.
Companies like DJI and Parrot have established an early foothold in that business, but GoPro’s reputation and dominance of the action cam segment will likely put its future competitors on the defensive almost immediately. Some existing drones already support GoPro cameras, so it will be interesting to see if manufacturers change their strategy once they’re competing directly against the company.
We know GoPro can build quality cameras, so the bigger question is about the drone hardware itself. At this point, Parrot and DJI have both had multiple tries at building quality consumer drones. And the field will likely be even larger once GoPro’s drones are ready. But in many ways, it’s an obvious move; you can already take GoPro’s cameras nearly anywhere. Now it sounds like the company wants to become the all-in-one solution for aerial photography.
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