Apple Granted New Patent for an Action Cam, Induces GoPro Stock Plummet
Apple now owns a patent for a waterproof mobile remote control camera system that supposedly caused a 12 percent drop in shares of action cam maker GoPro.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday reassigned to Apple a patent, which illustrates a portable digital camera that can be mounted on bike helmets or scuba masks and controllable via a wrist-worn remote. The newly patented camera system can also be used under water to take pictures and record sounds, according to the application filed with the USPTO.
According to Patently Apple, the Apple invention appears to now incorporate intellectual property from Eastman Kodak Co. The publication reports that Kodak made an application to the USPTO in 2012, but Apple has since snapped up the property, including this patent, which was granted and subsequently publicly revealed yesterday.
Go Pro is currently dominating the rapidly expanding action camera market. Videos shot with GoPro’s cameras took the Internet by storm, attracting millions of views on YouTube. Some well-known athletes, including Olympic gold medal winning snow boarder Shaun White and 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater, have also approved of the cameras.
This helped company make $1bn in sales during 2013; however, shares fell by 12.7 percent in trading yesterday on the Nasdaq in New York after news of Apple’s patent broke, as reported by Telegraph.
The patent even cites specific weaknesses in GoPro cameras. The application criticises GoPro cameras for only being able to shoot video from the front, and says that the shape can create “excessive wind resistance” making it more susceptible to vibration.
JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna, however, thinks Apple won’t soon launch a wearable camera. “It does not seem to me that launching an action camera accessory is the most logical product extension for Apple to pursue right now,” Gauna said.
Apple declined to comment.
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