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Foxconn Invests $200 Million In GoPro

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the best-way-to-document-an-avalanche dept.

Businesses 83

MojoKid writes "The initial wearable cameras [GoPro founder Nick] Woodman created to capture action shots as they happened used 35mm film, but his company's cameras have evolved into highly durable, HD vid-cams that are sought after by amateurs and extreme sports stars alike. It turns out Foxconn digs what GoPro has designed as well. The giant Taiwanese manufacturer just bought a significant stake in Woodman Labs, making Nick Woodman a billionaire in the processes. Taiwan-headquartered electronics manufacturer Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.), purchased an 8.88% stake in Woodman Labs for $200 million, valuing the San Mateo, Calif. company at $2.25 billion."

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83 comments

FoxPro (5, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373945)

Foxconn will buy the rest of the company and accept a buyout offer from Microsoft.

Microsoft's Visual FoxPro cameras will become all the rage.

Re:FoxPro (3, Insightful)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373971)

And randomly corrupt your videos when too many people access them at once?

Re:FoxPro (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374553)

Well, what else would you expect from a company like Apple?

Re:FoxPro (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42373987)

Oh ffs...
I wish I had mod points. I'm not sure how I'd mod that, but I'd definitely mod it one way or the other ;-)

Re:FoxPro (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374043)

Why buy, they will just copy everything and pirate copy brand will take over the markets. Just like with everything Chinese touch.

I'm serious. 200 millions to get all the secrets of the company was a steal. Wait for a few months and 1:1 similar cameras branded like "Lucky Wind" (pointing at the Predator clone from last month's gun expo - "hey it's not a pirate copy we even changed the name") will take over the Asian markets and a few months later some XunXun brand will invade EU and Americas with 90% cheaper GoPros.

Re:FoxPro (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374311)

Funny - we know this to be true, yet American continues to export jobs and technology to China. Idiots in CEO suits, idiots in Board of Director suits, idiots in Consultant suits - the whole lot of them have read time and time again about the Chinese stealing IP. But, they decide amongst themselves that it's best to take advantage of all that slave labor in China. All that IP given away, in the quest for free or almost free labor.

Disclaimer: I'm not in favor of existing IP laws, and I don't see the Chinese as entirely bad, but it makes no sense at all for us to give away all our shit. Hell, my neighbor might be a good guy, but I'm not giving him all my shit. A helping hand now and then, but just GIVE HIM all my stuff? Do I look retarded?

Re:FoxPro (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374565)

foxconn is not chineese, its taiwan

Re:FoxPro (3, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374653)

Taiwan is not stealing American jobs any more than England is. "Idiots in CEO suits, idiot board of directors, idiot consultants, stealing?" What crybaby planet did you grow up on, an in what year? Taiwan designs and invents more than half the stuff they build, and if Nick Woodman had a choice between being trapped in an elevator with a Taipei engineer like Terry Gou or Simon Lin, or a whiner who thinks every global deal is a loss for America, I think he's wise to take the car going up.

Re:FoxPro (2)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374815)

it makes no sense at all for us to give away all our shit.

What gives you the idea that Go Pro belongs to you in any way?

-jcr

Re:FoxPro (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374889)

Funny - we know this to be true, yet American continues to export jobs and technology to China. Idiots in CEO suits, idiots in Board of Director suits, idiots in Consultant suits - the whole lot of them have read time and time again about the Chinese stealing IP. But, they decide amongst themselves that it's best to take advantage of all that slave labor in China. All that IP given away, in the quest for free or almost free labor.

They're not idiots, just psychopaths - they don't give a fuck about American intellectual property or jobs, or any countries interests, for that matter. In fact, they don't even give a shit about the publicly traded company they're heading. That company can crash and burn in the long term, but by that time they'll have their money and be heading another company into the abyss.

Corporate psychopaths/sociopaths have no allegiance to country, company or institution. Hell, sometimes it seems they quite enjoy the trail of destruction they leave behind them.

In any case, they're not idiots.

Re:FoxPro (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375607)

"American intellectual property" is something that only resides in the mind of someone who hasn't created anything. Any intellectual property rights holders will claim it as theirs not 'Americas'.

There ain't such thing as IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375581)

Disclaimer: I'm not in favor of existing IP laws

Then stop talking about "IP" and talk about "copyright", "patent", "brand".

There isn't such thing as "Intellectual Property". That's the wet dream of corporations, being able to speculate with "IP" as they do with more pnysical "assets". The only fly in the ointment is that those state-granted, limited monopolies are (yet) limited in time too -- lobbies are working on it (cf. Mickey Mouse).

And part of this work is hammering into our heads that those rights are "Property": they ain't. Don't fall for it.

Re:FoxPro (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42379389)

Funny - we know this to be true, yet American continues to export jobs and technology to China. Idiots in CEO suits, idiots in Board of Director suits, idiots in Consultant suits - the whole lot of them have read time and time again about the Chinese stealing IP. But, they decide amongst themselves that it's best to take advantage of all that slave labor in China. All that IP given away, in the quest for free or almost free labor.

And what IP would that be? A GoPro isn't exactly an innovative thing. It's just a plain old 1080p30 camera in a rugged case with a bunch of mounts to hang it in various locations.

OK, fine, GoPro has some design patents, but we know how /. likes the "rounded corners" design patent idea. (Yes, I know, it's rounded corner slate with a grid of icons and a dock that's static as the grid's adjusted).

But other than that, it's just a lens, a sensor, and a processor wired together with some software to make it usable. Add a little expansion header for a display and you get the LCD backpack, a little SDIO header for wifi, etc.

The new Hero 3 has some neat features like 720p120 capture and 4Kp15 for high rest stuttery, but I'm sure that's just another feature of the chips they use, in an other wise bog standard repackaging.

Re:FoxPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42387121)

People seem to prefer to argue from opinion and news bits than from reality.this creates, not an argument, but rather a shitstorm. A well-written shitstorm, sometimes, but one devoid of real content.

The historical fact about IP:
Most of the inventions created in the world in the last two hundred years (which goes to before the existence of most IP laws) were incremental improvements over someone else's design or idea. Even if they were a "new" idea, they were built on work done by many others, all working toward the same goal. All the things that you might think of as "American inventions" either were invented somewhere else, or were incremental improvements over another person's (as in a European person until recently) ideas of how to make or do something.

Examples: the electric lightbulb, first there were chunks of carbon burning with an arc of electricity, then the carbon was purified and reduced in shape and form, then different materials were tried as smaller, thinner elements that would glow with resistance to electric current, finally Edison's crew came up with a thin wire that would work for the job. Incremental improvements, with many people racing to find the best solution.

The examples are legion and fill the spaces around you as you sit reading this. The camera, the monitor, the computer, the finish of the table that they all sit on, on and on.

We, as inventors, all most never have a "eureka" moment. We stand on the shoulders of giants who are on the shoulders of previous giants and it's giants all the way down.

IP law exists to help a person or company (and was created before the idea of corporation and other devilish constructs built on the shoulders of simple ideas that came from the simple proprietor) use a short window of opportunity to recompense, somewhat, the work they did to make that incremental improvement. Obviously, the original idea has been totally lost in the case law that has been built up around what was once a simple and clear idea. Obviously it needs repair and renovation because case law has failed to keep it current. Obviously corporate players don't want to have it repaired and renovated because they have learned how to play the existing laws to their advantage and they know that they will probably lose advantage if it changes.

Does this help to make the situation clear to everyone?

Re:FoxPro (1)

JBaustian (1204174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42392705)

China (and Taiwan) have the cash to buy US technology, or hire people to steal it, because US economic policies discourage domestic manufacturing. (It is surprising that we still produce as much as we do, domestically.)

Or they could buy Treasury bonds. But maybe they already have all of those that they want.

Re:FoxPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374387)

I hope you die a horribly slow, excruciatingly painful death, for saying "pirate". You truly and deeply deserve it, you disgusting Content Mafia piece of shit.

Re:FoxPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374705)

"...ew months later some XunXun brand will invade EU and Americas with 90% cheaper GoPros."

And that's bad for me why again?

Re:FoxPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375417)

Anybody know where GoPro cameras are manufactured?
It would be slightly ironic if they are manufactured by Foxconn.

Re:FoxPro (1)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42377089)

What secrets?

There is no magic here - it's not a technologically advanced bit of kit. Just good execution, and marketing.

With a Windows 8 interface... (3, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374089)

Metro ruined my face

Not a billionaire yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374011)

He's not a billionaire any more than Zuckerman is. Only after he actually sells will he be one. Until then, and however unlikely, his company could go to zero.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374067)

He's not a billionaire any more than Zuckerman is. Only after he actually sells will he be one.

Value is value. US dollars is simply one way of storing it. It just so happens that because you use dollars as your "reference" value that you think it has to be converted to those dollars to truly "count." If you were British you wouldn't think it really counted until it was in Pounds. If you lived New Vegas you wouldn't think it counted until it was in bottle caps.

You might say that value is simply based on what they decided, and that could change at any time. But that's true for every form of value storage, including dollars. It's just that when your reference storage medium changes value it's not as obvious, because you still have the same number of it.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374141)

It's just that when your reference storage medium changes value it's not as obvious, because you still have the same number of it.

... and I doubt there has been a significant drop in gold production or need industrial use:
http://goldprice.org/gold-price-history.html#36_year_gold_price [goldprice.org]

So that means? =P

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42382935)

I don't understand your point.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (4, Insightful)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374177)

Value is value. US dollars is simply one way of storing it.

The difference is: One billion US dollars can quite easily be converted into other goods. One billion dollars "worth" of stock in a small-cap company cannot. Especially if you're and insider and thus prohibited from selling your stock in secret.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375745)

The difference is: One billion US dollars can quite easily be converted into other goods. One billion dollars "worth" of stock in a small-cap company cannot. Especially if you're and insider and thus prohibited from selling your stock in secret.

The point is that unlike the CEOs of so tech firms (who ride their companies to glory, get delusions of adequacy, and round-trip it all the way to zero, fucking over their employers and investors alike, cf. RIMM, YHOO), this guy was willing to swallow his pride and part with a small percentage of his baby in order to boost his company's valuation. Both Foxconn and GoPro can win if this boosted valuation can lead to an even better valuation when/if GoPro goes public. In other words, this CEO actually has an exit strategy, which is more than can be said for the CEOs of most privately-held companies.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42376195)

One billion dollars "worth" of stock in a small-cap company cannot.

If you have a billion dollars worth of stock then it's no longer small-cap by any standard I'd use, nor is the kind of stock that'd flop into nothing if the founder left. If Foxconn was willing to pay $200 million for a 8.8% share, I'm quite sure he could have sold his full share for $500+ million. Maybe he'd lose the coveted title of billionaire but for all intents and purposes he's filthy rich whether he'd cash out or not.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42382917)

Some forms of value storage are more flexible and convenient than others. But that doesn't mean you don't have value until it's in a convenient form. These things influence the "price" of the various forms. But it's not like you're the only one who knows that. It's not a secret, and so the valuation reflects that influence. And there's a huge drawback to converting value into dollars, because that when the government has decided it can take a cut of it.

But that's not the point. Value is value, and saying someone doesn't "really" have a billion dollars in value just because *you* don't happen to like the form it's in is simply wrong.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374879)

Value is value. US dollars is simply one way of storing it. (...) You might say that value is simply based on what they decided, and that could change at any time. But that's true for every form of value storage, including dollars.

Actually, currency -- or more precisely legal tender -- differs from other stores of value in that you use it to pay taxes. This ensures guaranteed demand for it, and this makes it a more proper yard stick when measuring value than gold, pig iron or Florida condos.

In light of this, also keep the difference between realized and unrealized gains and losses in mind. A store of value is worth what the next guy will pay for it when the next guy actually pays for it. Upon doing so, you can book the realized gain or loss (and pay the taxes where applicable). Until then, it's an unrealized gain or loss that sits on your balance sheet, and you're free to value the asset pretty much any way you fantasize. (Though admittedly, the taxman might pry into your accounts if you book nonsensical values [nytimes.com] .)

To be an actual billionaire, Woodman needs to find a pigeon who pulls out his checkbook.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42383021)

You are confusing tax laws and accounting with value. Currency is very convenient in many ways, which is why it's so popular, but it obviously doesn't mean it's the only thing of value. You (and everybody else, including me) are accustomed to thinking in terms of your own currency, and everything else somehow seems "temporary."

If I take all my dollars and buy shares of a company, I have the same value as before. Of course tomorrow that may be different. But that's also true if I *didn't* buy any shares. It's just not as easily measured. All things have value, and those value constantly change in relation to each other, but at any instant in time X number of Y has the same value as A number of B. It's extraordinarily useful to measure those values in terms of a currency, but that's only a convenience.

Suppose I took a million US dollars and decided I would buy British Pounds with it. As time goes on, let's say that the Pound has increased in value, so that my million is now worth 1.1M. It's still in British Pounds, so I haven't really "realized" the profit until I convert back to dollars? Why? If I were British I would think I already have it where it "really" counts. But that's just silly, its value is its value, no matter how it's stored.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42383587)

And your theorietical reasoning would make sense if you lived in an ivory tower, oblivious to the world around you.

The sorry truth, however, is that you live in a very real community, and that community expects you to file taxes (in a currency) and pay taxes (in a currency). As much as I agree with your ideas in theory, the reality is that in such a context, tax laws and accounting trump whichever definition of value you and I might fantasize. You pay taxes in USD or Euros or whatever it is that your government expects where you live, and you book realized and unrealized gains and losses accordingly, value be damned.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42386759)

That misses the point. How you pay taxes is far removed from the idea that everything is a form of value. Some are more convenient than others, some are more volatile than others, and some are more liquid than others, but they all "count." That is a foundational truth. Taxes and accounting comes much much later. There is no "ivory tower" involved.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42379305)

He's not a billionaire any more than Zuckerman is. Only after he actually sells will he be one.

Value is value. US dollars is simply one way of storing it. It just so happens that because you use dollars as your "reference" value that you think it has to be converted to those dollars to truly "count." If you were British you wouldn't think it really counted until it was in Pounds. If you lived New Vegas you wouldn't think it counted until it was in bottle caps.

You might say that value is simply based on what they decided, and that could change at any time. But that's true for every form of value storage, including dollars. It's just that when your reference storage medium changes value it's not as obvious, because you still have the same number of it.

You can't buy a quater pounder with a "share" of stock.

Re:Not a billionaire yet (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#42382841)

You can't buy a quater pounder with a "share" of stock.

You're confusing currency with money.

That's good to hear... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374025)

GoPro cameras would probably make a good case study about not trying to put everything and the kitchen sink into a product. Instead, make it affordable and good for what it'll actually be used for.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374225)

GoPro cameras would probably make a good case study about not trying to put everything and the kitchen sink into a product. Instead, make it affordable and good for what it'll actually be used for.

except for the fact they are not really affordable in true meaning of that word :)

Re:That's good to hear... (3, Insightful)

NIK282000 (737852) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375569)

300-400$ for a camera that will film 1920*1080 at 120 fps and is extreme sports friendly? That's a steal, if you compare the video quality of their latest one to the top consumer camcorders on the market they are right on par and a hell of a lot cheaper. I do wonder what foxcon eventually wants out of this deal though.

Re:That's good to hear... (0)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374239)

Just a personal opinion, but cameras in general are able to scape the "swiss army knife" effect because they are content production devices. Same for most audio or graphical design or computer aided engineering hardware(medical devices could also count, but there are other factor which make them a completely different monster). That is including hardware targeted at people that are not very tech-savy, including lots of professionals. You buy it once (plus a few accessories if you wish), its optimized for what you want it to do and you get a quality that is beyond what any all in one general purpose device can give you. And on top of that there is the commercial money making potential using the content you created.
On the other hand there are content consumption devices like e-readers, game consoles, video streaming boxes, portable media players, etc, that may or may not be worth of the price for a variety of factors such as built quality or content availability, are built upon almost entirely on proprietary technologies. If you want to make good use of it you must keep feeding it money for more content. Keeping all these features integrated in one single device and as cheap as possible is important to make the costumer buy more of your content. When these devices have cameras or other sensors, there are nothing but tools to help you consume content.

Re:That's good to hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374297)

"Just a personal opinion, but cameras in general are able to scape the "swiss army knife" effect because they are content production devices."

You must speak Middle English!

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42380181)

I'm assuming that my mistake was the word "scape", which should I should have written "escape".
As a foreigner I more than welcome people pointing out my English grammar mistakes, as one of the reasons I even bother posting on internet forums is to train my written English on a more causal environment(living and working in Japan is destroying both my English and even my native Russian skills). But please make it more visible next time. Thanks anyway.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42383097)

I'm not the person you responded to, but I thought it was worth mentioning that your English is better than many native speakers, and I wouldn't have known it's your second or third language if you hadn't said so.

Re:That's good to hear... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374437)

Apart from the fact that they're fairly overpriced for what they can do, they're really rather ugly and cumbersome (especially when mounted on a helmet, hardly sleek or unobtrusive), and not particularly intuitive to use (tiny buttons, not obvious whether it's recording or not).

But what do I know, they seem popular. Possibly because they're robust and they've got a few different mount options, but I can't believe there isn't more good-looking and capable competition.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

rHBa (976986) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374921)

Here is a list of the official mounts:

http://gopro.com/camera-mounts [gopro.com]

However I know of several other (unofficial?) mounts such as kite-line mounts (for mounting the camera up in a kite or paraglider canopy), I've even seen 'follow cam' systems being used where the gopro is tethered to the back of paraglider canopy and 'flies' behind you:

http://www.wingmancam.com/WingmanCam/Home.html [wingmancam.com]

Admittedly the above product can work with many different products, not just GoPro.

Another reason for the success of the GoPro would be the way they teamed up with RedBull to make head cam footage for snowboarding, mountain biking, BASE jumping etc videos:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gopro+red+bull [youtube.com]

Although the GoPro might not be the BEST camara out there for the price it certainly works well enough for a LOT of people who want something tough and reliable with good HD video without spending >€500

I have no affiliation with GoPro or any of the other companies mentioned here.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375733)

GoPro has a significant first mover effect. They pretty much defined the niche of decent quality sports cameras. Yes, their user interface sucks. Yes, the company has had numerous trips and falls as it tries to bring out new products - they tend to have buggy firmware and not so stable software. There are a couple of other companies nipping at their heels.

They really don't have much IP to fall back on - GoPro just managed to come up with a neat idea at the right time. Now, that is what defines a successful product (iPod, anyone?) but it's also sensitive to competition and management fuck ups.

Perhaps Foxcon will clean up GoPro's act. Would be nice. I've returned a bunch of their stuff because it just doesn't work out of the box and I can't be arsed to spend hours dinking with firmware upgrades that half the time need to be backed out and reloaded.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375783)

But what do I know, they seem popular. Possibly because they're robust and they've got a few different mount options, but I can't believe there isn't more good-looking and capable competition.

I record my bike rides with a Contour Roam [contour.com] (apparently I've been obsoleted!). My camera is sturdy, sleek, and easy-to-operate. (I'm a satisfied user with no corporate affiliation to Contour) GoPro has larger mindshare due to a good product and MASSIVE marketing which even seasoned people mistake for amateur user content [metafilter.com] .

From where I sit, though, these changes in the market seem secondary to the increasing democratization of video which has benefits for justice, science, history, posterity, and art that outweigh the abuses of video perpetrated by corrupt governments, though I recognize this particular sword has two edges, is exceedingly sharp, and has already cut a number of agonists quite badly.

Re:That's good to hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42376239)

I'm on a holiday at the moment and just got myself a Roam2 for snowboarding, it's a pretty neat little device. It doesn't have the massive fps of the professional GoPro versions but with 720p at 60fps the Roam2 is decent deal compared to the consumer version. It feels like the camera could handle any amount of mishandling I could administer, I'm sure the GoPro could take a beating, but it just seems fragile when mounted on a helmet.

As a Linux user I was put off at Contour requiring a Windows/OS X tool for configuring the Roam2 but the text file containing the (commented!) settings is easily modified from any device. Configuring the device on-the-go isn't possible however.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42376329)

Apart from the fact that they're fairly overpriced for what they can do,...

Well, that depends. If you are looking for a camera with a lot of different settings and good file formats (such as RAW data for images, lots of white balance options, and manual settings (aperture, focus, ISO, DOF) there are much better options for that price. Even wifi can be obtained by using special SD cards. However, the reason I have one is because of the robust housing - I can dive to 130 feet without it leaking.

The camera is targeted for people who want to take decent images that can survive harsh environments - I don't know why they can't make inexpensive housing for great cameras for less. But if you want a waterproof housing for a DSLR, it can really set you back much than this whole setup (camera+housing) costs. When I am taking regular shoots in non-extreme environments, I use my prosumer camera. But there aren't really any good competitors at a significantly cheaper price point for what these cameras can survive.

Re:That's good to hear... (1)

Tamerlin (940577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42382979)

Apart from the fact that they're fairly overpriced for what they can do, they're really rather ugly and cumbersome (especially when mounted on a helmet, hardly sleek or unobtrusive), and not particularly intuitive to use (tiny buttons, not obvious whether it's recording or not).

But what do I know, they seem popular. Possibly because they're robust and they've got a few different mount options, but I can't believe there isn't more good-looking and capable competition.

Overpriced? There's nothing else on the market that will allow you to record cinema-quality video for under $10k, let alone under $1k. They're popular because the GoPro cameras have always been the best at what they do, and while their competitors like Contour have some features that GoPro doesn't offer, GoPro's image quality is far superior. Even dSLRs today don't record 2k video footage in Cineform. For point of reference, the currently dominant cinema camera in big-budget film production right now is the Arri Alexa series, which record... $2k. The cheap one is $87k.

I bought a GoPro for my son ... (4, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374313)

who is spending some time in Madagascar. I ordered 3 components on 3rd November, all marked in stock. 3 days later I am told that the camera will be available but a spare battery and bacpak will take 2-4 weeks. The camera is delivered on time. On 18 Dec I am told ''We wanted to let you know that your order will be slightly delayed. We expect to receive the items for shipment to you on Feb/05/2013.". I think that I need a new dictionary with a revised definition of slightly.

WARNING: do not get one of these things if you need it quickly.

Part of the reason for the pacpak is to control the camera. You are supposed be able to do this with an Android app; but that does not work properly.

My son also complains that the camera crashes and it has lost video footage that he has shot. Be careful of these things.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (1)

hpacheco (2536480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374597)

I've been using a HD Hero 2 for 4 months with no crashes or lost footage (48h of video and about 500 stills). One thing I noticed was that after a firmware update (the one that allowed me to pair the camera with my iPhone) there's some lag after turning it on and being able to start filming.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374709)

I've been using a HD Hero 2 for 4 months...

It was a Hero 3 that I bought, maybe they have, by now, got the bugs out of the Hero 2.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375445)

the new line of go pro 3s are having a hard time meeting demand, especially the hero 3 black. only one of the local dive shops hasn't sold their allotment yet and they told me that after that first shipment they won't have more for a minimum of 60 days. ymmv.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375757)

You can buy gopro's locally almost anywhere. Any bestbuy or other big box electronics place, dive shop, or even online at the big places like newegg etc where you could get it basically overnight.

There is really no reason to order stuff from GoPro themselves.

As a counter anecdote, I've been using a Hero 1 for years now (since they came out) and in 100s of hours of footage I haven't lost a single second. YMMV I guess.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42376859)

As a counter anecdote, I've been using a Hero 1 for years now (since they came out) and in 100s of hours of footage I haven't lost a single second. YMMV I guess.

I've got a Hero 3 Black, and haven't lost any footage yet, but I've heard of others who have. I think GoPro should have waited a little longer before releasing the camera, it's still got a few bugs. Hopefully, they'll get the bugs fixed soon, and bring it up to the reliability of the earlier GoPros.

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42377949)

no offense... but I can't imagine how many of these things will be sitting under a christmas tree somewhere.
I know if I had a spare 300-400 there'd be one sitting under mine!

They have an awesome product that is taking off, and have to manage growth off the scale... maybe cut them a little slack?

Re:I bought a GoPro for my son ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42382279)

Hi I am said son and I agree the product is in theory awesome and the footage I have looks great however I wish I had gone for a hero 2 which might not produce quite such nice results but at least it seems to be reliable. Don't get me wrong it doesn't crash every day but when it does it often does so repeatedly. Since 13/11/12 it has crashed on maybe 30 SEPARATE occasions by which I mean it suffers slow down of the menus, will not turn on at all or will not record. I am only aware of losing one recording which I thought had been successful but have reviewed only perhaps 5% of the footage I have taken so there may be more.

I cannot be sure if this is me being unlucky with a duff unit or is due to problems inherent to all hero 3's or a combination of both.

As for the missing items I accept they are struggling to keep up with higher than expected demand but this is not an excuse for keeping out of date stock information on their website.

That sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374339)

I had really wanted a Go Pro camera set up too.

Or in other words.... (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374355)

Foxconn buys $2.25b worth of IP for just 8.88c on the dollar.

Re:Or in other words.... (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374397)

Foxconn buys $2.25b worth of IP for just 8.88c on the dollar.

No - it doesn't mean that.

Re:Or in other words.... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374505)

Especially since the actual number given in the article (rather than the retarded summary) is 1.15 billion.

Re:Or in other words.... (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374535)

FTFA:

"Taiwan-headquartered electronics manufacturer Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.), purchased an 8.88% stake in Woodman Labs for $200 million, valuing the San Mateo, Calif. company at $2.25 billion."

The summary pulled that straight from the article. The later $1.15b figure is the Nicholas Woodman's 51% share, which is why both article and summary call him billionaire. (A paper-billionaire at least.)

Re:Or in other words.... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374547)

Of course both are just copypasta from the Forbes article [forbes.com] , which was probably just a rewrite of an AP story, which itself was just a rewrite of the press release.

Re:Or in other words.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374637)

World class journalism!

Mediocre product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374433)

Wait, what? Is this the 1990's where even a semi-functional mediocre product can draw billions in funding?

Wow...

Re:Mediocre product (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374491)

No, don't read the retarded summary.

Foxconn invested 200 million in the company ... only in fantasy land does that value the company at billions. Even IF you give face value for stock (doesn't actually work that way in reality) then they'd still need to actually sell those stocks. They haven't.

Valuation != actual value. Its a fantasy number made up so people who don't understand stocks think the stock is worth more than it is.

Its not even public company. You can't just go buy stock in it. The valuation is just as much fantasy as Frodo and The One Ring.

Re:Mediocre product (1)

PhillC (84728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374539)

It's actually a very good product. The quality of the video produced, for the form factor and price point, is better than anything else I am aware of on the market. I've used a wide range of "action cameras" over the years, and the new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition is the best of them.

Re:Mediocre product (1)

rHBa (976986) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375039)

Remember this one from January?

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/01/10/1619247/protecting-your-tablet-from-a-fall-from-space [slashdot.org]

The tablet was wrapped up in it's special case and it was dropped from 100,000ft (via a helium balloon). Also attached to it was a GoPro to film the whole thing. The GoPro was just in its own standard plastic case!

Re:Mediocre product (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375749)

It's a nice product created by a company that has had way to many gliches bringing newer products to market (noted in a couple of posts here and many posts on DVinfo.net and other boards).

If Foxcon can bring some expertise to GoPro, they may have a winner that can really push against the rising tide of competition. If not, the GoPro is going to get flushed by somebody who can actually write decent firmware.

Why is Apple investing 200 million in GoPro? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374529)

Sounds a bit off from their iDevice business.

No surprise (2)

pianophile (181111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374599)

No surprise FoxConn would invest - discreet wearable cameras are very popular items on the factory floor there.

Good for them, but... (2)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374797)

That valuation is way out of whack. I wouldn't cost anything close to $200M to develop an equivalent product at bring it to market.

-jcr

Re:Good for them, but... (1)

radish (98371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374871)

Of course it wouldn't. But it also wouldn't cost $500b to design and bring to market competitors to all of Apple's products. A company's valuation includes physical assets, existing and predicted revenue streams, goodwill/brand value (which is huge in GoPro's case - they basically own the market), people, and so on. I'm not saying the valuation is right (seems a little high) but I'm not an analyst, and it's not my money :)

Dressed to the Eights (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42374813)

What I love about this news item is the odd investment amount 8.88%, Which only seems odd to our western eyes where 8 is not the most auspicious lucky number, like it is in certain Eastern cultures.

Hidden in the chips (1, Flamebait)

spaceman375 (780812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374965)

It appears that Big Brother's ubiquitous eyes will be slanted. They'll be sending frames to china every time they get net.

Re:Hidden in the chips (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375053)

Paranoid _and_ racist. Good work.

Not a Good Thing (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42374985)

Aww, and GoPro was such a nice, successful company, too. Now I have no doubt they're going to have to outsource all R&D and production to Asia and everyone knows that with the lower expense of production, the quality will suffer too.

I won't be surprised in a year or less to see GoPro HD cams starting to fail for reasons they had never failed before. Yay, Capitalism!

Re:Not a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42375111)

'everyone knows', eh?

Re:Not a Good Thing (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375773)

Hey, Ducttape - read up on GoPro's problems. Their R&D could use some quality input. 'Upgrades' that pretty much brick cameras (in the technical sense, they have to be sent back to the factory to get reset), production deadlines that are missed every single time. Good ideas that just never seem to pan out. Poor communication from the company.

The only thing that keeps them afloat is their first mover advantage - but that is something that won't last forever. Foxconn may well be able to salvage the company.

Racist much or are you being so incredibly subtle that I've missed it?

Re:Not a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381551)

Hopefully is foxcon takes up the manufacturing they will also take over the writing of the firmware.

I've had 3 GoPros and each one has had issues (Hero HD, Hero 2, Hero 3 Black)

Go...DOH! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375215)

They're cool cameras, but maybe not so good in some situations. [skydive-in-virginia.com]

Foxconn gets out of its niche. (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375935)

Foxconn, the biggest consumer electronics manufacturer in the world and China's largest private employer, is a contract manufacturer. They have no product lines of their own. This puts them in the lowest margin part of the product food chain. Although Foxconn makes the iPhone, the iPad, the Wii, and the XBox, the companies who own the brand make much more per unit than Foxconn does. At the other end, the semiconductor manufacturers who make the more complex parts also make higher margins.

Foxconn doesn't intend to stay in that subservient position forever. The Economist had an article on them a few weeks ago pointing this out. Acquiring a product line to call their own is a first step. They've chosen one which doesn't compete with their major customers. For now.

Five years out, Foxconn may be a major consumer brand. Foxconn phones, Foxconn tablets, Foxconn stores...

To become a billionaire (2)

spaceshooter (210605) | about a year and a half ago | (#42376153)

So if I start a company with million shares and sell one of the shares to my mom for $1000, I will become a billionaire too? That was easy!

GoPro is Evil (1)

taxtropel (637994) | about a year and a half ago | (#42387973)

GoPro has single handedly ruined the ski industry. As a pro skier and snowboarder I have seen this first hand. GoPro has made people believe that if they have $200 (to buy a camera) they are gonna get discovered and become big time pros with a red bull contract. When the reality of the situation is that those same idiots are tearing off downhill completely out of control. Wrecking and hurting others in the process. I don't take issue with the camera but I do take issue with the image GoPro is trying to sell. Similar in effect to the tobacco industry advertising, only with much more traumatic implications.
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