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Foxconn Invests $200 Million In GoPro 83

Posted by timothy
from the best-way-to-document-an-avalanche dept.
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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Foxconn Invests $200 Million In GoPro

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  • FoxPro (Score:5, Funny)

    by game kid (805301) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @04:48AM (#42373945) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lord Maud'Dib (611577)
      And randomly corrupt your videos when too many people access them at once?
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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% cheape

      • Re:FoxPro (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @07:20AM (#42374311) Homepage Journal

        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?

        • by cheekyboy (598084)

          foxconn is not chineese, its taiwan

        • Re:FoxPro (Score:4, Interesting)

          by retroworks (652802) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @09:44AM (#42374653) Homepage Journal
          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.
        • by jcr (53032)

          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blind biker (1066130)

          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 th

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "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'.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          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 jus

        • 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.
      • What secrets?

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

    • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:52AM (#42374089)

      Metro ruined my face

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2012 @05:29AM (#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.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      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 :)

    • by ikaruga (2725453)
      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 wh
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by rHBa (976986)
        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
        • 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 succes

      • 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 outw

      • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125)

        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

      • by Tamerlin (940577)

        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

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday December 23, 2012 @07:21AM (#42374313) Homepage

    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.

    • by hpacheco (2536480)
      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.
      • 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.

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @07:57AM (#42374355)

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

    • by Frankie70 (803801)

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

      No - it doesn't mean that.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

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

        • 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.)

          • 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.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              World class journalism!

  • No surprise FoxConn would invest - discreet wearable cameras are very popular items on the factory floor there.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Sunday December 23, 2012 @10:23AM (#42374797) Journal

    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

    • by radish (98371)

      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 :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • It appears that Big Brother's ubiquitous eyes will be slanted. They'll be sending frames to china every time they get net.
  • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @11:02AM (#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!

    • 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

  • They're cool cameras, but maybe not so good in some situations. [skydive-in-virginia.com]
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday December 23, 2012 @01:51PM (#42375935) Homepage

    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...

  • 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!

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