Shares of GoPro stock plummeted as much as 15% this afternoon after it was announced that Apple was awarded a patent that could put the wearable camera company in serious trouble.
Apple was granted a series of 34 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today relating to a camera system that can be mounted to helmets and scuba masks and controlled remotely. That patent specifically mentions weaknesses in GoPro’s system, which has sent investors worrying that Apple is aiming to crush the sports camera giant.
Apple files thousands of patents a year, many for products it has no intention of bringing to the market, but that hasn’t stopped the stock market from bailing on GoPro today when it was found that Apple’s patented camera system can also be used to record video and sound underwater.
Apple filed its patent in 2012 and incorporated some of the technology in purchased from Eastman Kodak in November 2013. Moving into the action cameras market would seem like an odd move for Apple which focuses on dominating multi-billion dollar markets. However, Apple just topped Nikon to become the second most popular camera maker in the world. Maybe an external camera you can beat up and can control with your iPhone is inevitable.
GoPro shares have now lost 42 percent of their value since reaching an all-time high of $98.47 in October 2014. Despite the huge drop the stock is still up 73 percent since its IPO in June 2014.