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GoPro Has Little to Fear From Apple’s Camera Patent Filing

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) filing of a patent today for a mountable, sports and action video camera is unlikely to result in a device that will threaten category leader GoPro's (GPRO - Get Report) position, industry analysts said.

Apple historically has had great success jumping into fully developed categories, like the smartphone and portable music player markets, and then blowing away the competition, but the sports and action video camera market may be too small a fish for Apple to try and fry. However, with investors knowing Apple's modus operandi they punished GoPro's stock with it taking a double-digit loss today.

"With 10 million units sold worldwide and an average selling price of $300 it is just not worth it for Apple to get into," said Chris Chute, IDC's research VP, digital imaging practices.

Chute added that in smaller categories such as this Apple would rather partner with a firm that has a product that would complement Apple's portfolio.

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This line of thought was seconded by Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst, consumer electronics at IHS Technology.

"It is clear this is an area of continued excitement and [the camera] is something that would fit in with Apple's tech portfolio the question is whether there is enough volume to make it interesting for Apple," he said.

Another vote in GoPro's favor is the company would not have to compete with Apple near term as it often takes years after a patent is filed before a finished product comes to market. Also, Apple is known for simply filing a patent as a placeholder with no real intention of ever rolling out a product.

What is probably lurking in the back of investors', and GoPro execs', minds today is that Apple does take on new challenges like phones, tablets and music players or rolls out a product like Apple TV where it is content just to be a me-too player.

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AAPL $98.53 1.62%
GPRO $15.27 -5.70%
FB $97.51 0.18%
GOOG $716.63 0.30%
TSLA $207.94 -1.50%


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