Garmin have had a drastic reaction to GoPro’s recent slew of announcements by the dropping the price of its Virb Ultra 30 Action Cam a full US$100.
You know you’ve made an earthquake when the competition gets caught in your aftershock. The epicentre of this one was in California and took place at the GoPro event on Monday. That was when a masterful presentation by GoPro CEO Nick Woodman gave the world details on the GoPro Hero5 and a first look at the company’s new Karma drone.
The announcement resulted in an uptick in GoPro’s stock price and seems to have also had an affect on Garmin’s confidence in its own action camera.
Just a few weeks back, Garmin released its Virb Ultra 30, featuring 4K/30fps, slow motion, voice control, and three-axis stabilisation. In addition it had Garmin’s trademark G-Matrix, which uses external sensors to capture performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate and G-force. It was priced on Amazon at a reasonable US$499.99.
When GoPro announced the Hero5 on Monday, it didn’t have the same G-Matrix sensor tech but was US$100 cheaper, costing US$399.99 at launch.
Whether it was in reaction to the massively popular feedback, the similarity in their product, the versatility of the Hero5, or a combination of all of the above; rather than stick by their guns, Garmin changed the price of the Virb Ultra 30 to match that same price almost immediately.
For any camera manufacturer this would be considered a rash decision. Not only does it show a possible lack of confidence in their product by Garmin to do this so suddenly, it also infuriated early investors. The Virb Ultra 30 has been available for several weeks customers who purchased at the original price point will rightly feel duped.
However, taking the alternate view, since GoPro has been down for a while, this price drop could be a savvy attempt to keep holding the action camera company’s head underwater. If that’s the case it’s peculiar why Garmin didn’t try to undercut their rival as competitors like Xiaomi regularly do. We will have to wait and see if this risk pays off.
In any scenario, really the customers win with a greater selection of affordable cams available to them.