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Apple Gets Action-Cam Patent; GoPro Shares Tumble

Apple's filing specifically cites what it considers weaknesses in GoPro's system.

Reuters / Yuya Shino

Apple has been granted a patent for a wearable camera that could possibly challenge action cameras made by GoPro.

The patent, which cites specific weaknesses in GoPro’s cameras, includes details about a camera system that can be mounted on bike helmets or scuba masks, Apple said in an application filed with the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office.

Shares of GoPro, whose cameras can be mounted on helmets, surf boards, bikes and dog harnesses, were down about 12 percent in late trading.

Apple’s newly patented camera system can also be used underwater to take pictures and record sounds, according to the application.

A potential entry by the iPhone maker into the action camera market could also put pressure on privately held Polaroid, which makes the small and colorful Cube cameras.

JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna, however, said it was premature to assume that Apple would soon launch a wearable camera.

“It does not seem to me that launching an action camera accessory is the most logical product extension for Apple to pursue right now,” Gauna said.

Intellectual property blog Patently Apple reported earlier in the day that Apple’s patent, which was filed by the company in 2012, incorporates some intellectual property from Eastman Kodak that the company acquired in November 2013.

With Tuesday’s decline, GoPro shares are now down 42 percent since their high of $98.47 last October. Still, the stock is up 73 percent since its IPO last June.

“We look at it as a buying opportunity at JMP, because what we saw out of the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas last week is that GoPro remains the undisputed leader in the action capture device category,” Gauna said.

(Reporting by Lehar Maan and Abhirup Roy; additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty.)

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.