GoPro shares tumbled more than 12% on Tuesday to close at $49.87 after Apple was granted a patent for a wearable camera system. Investors fear that Cupertino company could possibly challenge GoPro cameras. According to Reuters, the patent cites specific weaknesses in GoPro’s action cameras. It provides details about a camera system that can be mounted on scuba masks or bike helmets, according to Apple’s application filed with the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office.
Apple’s camera system superior to GoPro
Moreover, the system lets users control the camera remotely. Patently Apple says that the Cupertino company’s patented camera system is superior to GoPro. Apple’s patented system can also be used under water to record videos and take images. The patent was filed in 2012. Dougherty & Co analyst Charlie Anderson said investors are concerned that the patent will let Apple make products that could threaten GoPro.
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Anderson said Apple could use the remote-control capability to let customers control the photo and video settings on their iPad or iPhone cameras from another device. The iPhone maker is granted thousands of patents a year. Not all of them lead to products. JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna said that it was too early to assume that Apple would soon unveil a wearable camera.
How will Apple’s camera affect GoPro?
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said that Apple wearable camera will likely have the same impact on GoPro as the iPhone had on cameras. That means it could reduce the same of GoPro cameras, but the number won’t be zero. Adventure videos recorded with GoPro cameras have created a lot of buzz on the Web, and the company is working to create a media business around videos.
A lockup on about 50% of GoPro shares will expire on February 17, flooding the market with additional shares. It could further hurt the stock. With Tuesday’s steep decline, GoPro stock has tumbled 51% from October high of $98.47.
GoPro stock recovered Wednesday, gaining 2.17% to $50.95 in early trading.