GOPRO RUMORS CONFIRMED: "HERO8,", "FUSION 2," and the 2019 Product Launch.

GoPro released their Q1 Earnings today, May 9, 2019. While these calls are generally to review company performance in terms of revenue and engagement with the market, they also often contain small sneak-peaks into their business plan, and subsequently, a few hints at the next products and their launch dates. GoPro does their best to “play things close to the chest,” but today, they were quite forward. Below are some confirmations of rumors we’ve expected for some time now.

Note: I’ll quote moments in the call as “proof” of the facts. If you’d like to verify my statements you can listen to the call itself here, or review the transcript here. While it should be obvious, this article is my interpretation of this call, and you should make your own evaluation based on what you hear in the call. Additionally, the images in this article are self-created mockups to illustrate the topics and are not in any way from GoPro themselves.

Hero8 Lineup is coming

Hero8+Black++Edition+Rumor+2019+GoPro+Launch+Mockup+KnowHero

What we know:

Early in the call Nick Woodman (GoPro CEO) comments that they are expecting to refresh the entire lineup of cameras, “at all price points.”

I'm happy to share that we're planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4

- Nick Woodman, CEO GoPro, Inc

GoPro currently offers multiple cameras at different price levels, Hero7 White for the entry-level , Silver for mid-range, and Black Edition for the flagship offering. Noting “at all price points'“ tells us that we can expect all 3 of these cameras to be updated, where at points in the past, GoPro has only updated just the flagship.

What we don’t know:

Actual Name- First and foremost, Nick never specifically said, “Hero8.” While we assume this to be the name of the upcoming camera(s), GoPro has diverged from this integer naming scheme in the past when launching the Hero3+ after the Hero3. GoPro could just as easily launch the “Hero7+” and not a “Hero8.”

Specs or features- It seems that Nick was intentionally vague when saying “refreshed.” The term “Refresh” doesn’t really indicate if this next camera generation is getting a slight facelift, or a complete overhaul. Many of us would like to see a Hero8 sporting an all-new GP2 chip inside, but for now, we’ll have to wait to get a better view of what “refresh” means, exactly.

Fusion 2 is confirmed

Fusion2+Fusion+2+Spherical+GoPro+Mockup+KnowHero

Along with the full lineup refresh, Nick also noted that the “Spherical” camera category would be addressed.

I'm happy to share that we're planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4, including our next generation spherical camera

- Nick Woodman, CEO GoPro, Inc

GoPro’s Fusion camera is now almost 2 years old, has been sinking in price, and while still the industry leader for quality in its category, many feel that the user experience of Fusion is pretty “clunky.” From its dual-card memory management to its large size, Fusion has a lot to improve upon.

What we know:

Up until this point, Nick and the GoPro management had only hinted at developing a second generation spherical camera, saying that there were still significant opportunities in the spherical space, or saying that they felt that spherical was a strong path for the future of cameras. Now, finally, we’ve seen actual confirmation that GoPro intends on making a second generation of spherical Camera.

What we don’t know:

Actual Name/System- Technically, Fusion is the THIRD spherical product GoPro has made. They also made a 16-camera “Odyssey” spherical camera system, as well as the 6 camera “OMNI” system. Fusion was simply GoPro’s first “all-in-one” consumer package for the space. While we REALLY hope that GoPro intends to make “Fusion 2,” it’s entirely possible that we could see a next generation OMNI or Oddyssey (which use Hero4 cameras) updated for Hero7 or Hero8. If I had to make a gut call, I’d say it’s FAR more likely to see Fusion 2 than one of the multi-cam systems updated, simply because of the small difference in quality with a huge difference in ease of use.

Specs/Size/Software- While getting confirmation of a potential “Fusion 2,” this tells us NOTHING about specs and features right now. While we all want to see better resolution, smaller size, and significantly improved software (PLEASE GOPRO, PLEASE!), we’ll be waiting this one out for more details.

2019 Launch date of the next (4?) cameras

Above: GoPro’s 2017 launch event announcement

Above: GoPro’s 2017 launch event announcement

GoPro has a pretty regular launch cadence. While it varies slightly, we usually see the newest offering from GoPro appear sometime around Mid-September, with global availability by Mid to Late-October. If you’re part of the /r/GoPro community on Reddit, they often discover leaks of new product a few weeks early, as well. There are a few outliers (Hero Session and some entry-level cameras have launched mid-summer), but this is generally the pacing we expect from GoPro.

When asked about the launch of the next 4 cameras, Nick noted that he could not share details, but that if you looked at their historical launch schedule, we could set our expectations similarly. He also dodged the reference to 4 cameras, neither confirming nor denying that all cameras would launch at once.

“Nick, I think, you mentioned four new camera refreshes, and correct me if I heard wrong, but you mentioned the fourth quarter. Is there a change in the timing of the launch this year or nothing changed there?”

-Nikolay Todorov, Longbow Research Analyst

Well, I can't go into any more specific than what I shared. I think you could look historically to GoPro's new product launches for some indication on what to expect, but we are really excited to see consumers reacting so positively to the HERO7 line. It's terrific for our team to see their research really paying off and resulting in an increased sell-through and an engagement. If you look at the strength of the brand socially we're as strong or stronger than we've ever been. We believe it's due in large part to the incredible quality of content coming off of a HERO7 Black with its HyperSmooth stabilization. It really is resulting in gorgeous video that is fantastic to watch. That's driving social viewership, it's driving viral awareness and appreciation of our brand and the products that we make.

And that's teeing us up we believe famously for our new lineup refresh later this year because everybody's expectation is we're going to deliver something exciting, and you can be darn sure that, that's what we've got on tap.”

- Nick Woodman, CEO GoPro, Inc

This is notable because Fusion’s original launch was a limited access pilot program before it was officially launched in Fall of 2016. We may see something similar with “Fusion 2” but we assume that, with the 2-year gap in spherical product launches, Fusion2 will be fully resolved and ready to go as it’s announced.

TL;DR?

Hero8 or equivalent lineup of 3 cameras inbound fall of 2019, Fusion2 or equivalent next-gen spherical camera expected at the same time.

I for, one, personally want to see Nick Woodman roar like a dinosaur before unhinging his jaw like a snake to reveal the new camera lineup hidden within…

Nick+Woodman+Mouth+GoPro+Jaw+Shout

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