Apple’s ‘GoPro Killer’ Shows Price of Disruption

Earlier this week, news leaked that Apple had patented a sports camera, and the stock price of GoPro—currently the reigning champ of sports cameras—plunged. But as several publications have noted, the patent in question was not only filed 2012, it didn’t even come from inside Apple—rather, it was one of many patents that Apple acquired from Kodak when the latter was selling off its intellectual property in a bid to stay solvent. To find camera-related jobs, click here. As Apple Insider pointed out (and kudos to the blog for doing the deep digging into the Kodak link, which many publications missed), the patent doesn’t mean that Apple has a “GoPro Killer” in the works. Companies file patents for intellectual property all the time, mostly as a defensive measure against competitors’ future moves. While Apple does have a reputation for building great camera modules into its iPhones and iPads, the company has given no indication that it intends to build a standalone camera. The furor over the news, and the subsequent plunge in GoPro’s stock price, illustrates yet again the omnipresent threat of tech disruption. You can have a great product, and market it expertly, but even the rumor that a big company is moving into the space can often be enough to spark a crisis (however temporary) among your customers and investors.

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