We’ve cautioned many times that Apple patents a huge number of inventions that will never see the light of day. Last year alone, the company was awarded 2,566 ‘utility’ patents–those covering actual technologies, rather than mere designs. The fact that Apple has patented something tells us absolutely nothing about its future product line.
But that didn’t stop traders going crazy yesterday over a patent awarded for a GoPro-like action camera: GoPro shares fell as much as 15% as panicking traders dumped the stock. The ‘thinking’ was that if Apple was entering the action camera market, GoPro was doomed. The slump was so dramatic that it even tripped a Nasdaq safeguard at one point, reports MarketWatch.
It’s even more absurd in this case: not only is the patent one of thousands of things that Apple probably won’t do, it isn’t even an Apple patent in the first place–it was, as Fortune notes in passing, just one of a number of patents acquired by Apple from Kodak.
Yep, if Apple really were moving into a new market, established players would indeed be sweating. But there is precisely zero evidence that Apple has any plans to move into GoPro’s territory.
That’s not to say competition isn’t heating up in the space however. HTC introduced the Re late last year ($99-199) as an iOS and Android connected camera and many others have been joining in starting at much lower prices.