Apple’s patent application was drafted in 2012 and incorporated a patent it required from bankrupt Kodak in 2013. The patent specifically cites issues with the GoPro HD Hero2 digital camera like “excessive wind resistance” while mounted on top of moving objects, as well as the potential for damages from vibrations. The camera mentioned in Apple’s patent has the potential to be controlled by a smartwatch, which is interesting considering that Apple Watch is on its way to market now.
Apple has not announced any plans to develop and sell these kinds of cameras. The company receives approval for thousands of patents a year, and its rare that the patents actually lead to product development. Dougherty and Co. analyst Charlie Anderson says the patent’s remote capabilities may be used for iPhones and iPad as opposed to a separate invention completely.
Some companies have already begun to sell products that rival GoPro cameras. Polaroid has created the affordable Polaroid Cube, and Sony revealed similar HD cameras at the Consumer Electronics Show this month. However, analyst at JMP Securities Alex Gauna says GoPro has nothing to worry about. “The success of GoPro has inspired quite a bit of imitation, but none of it is overly threatening,” Gauna said. “It still looks like their market to dominate.”
GoPro is currently the leader in sports cameras, known for it’s ability to record videos while mounted on items like helmets or poles. The company went public in June 2014 with an IPO price of $24 per share.