NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL) filing of a patent today for a mountable, sports and action video camera is unlikely to result in a device that will threaten category leader GoPro's (GPRO) position, industry analysts said.
Apple historically has had great success jumping into fully developed categories, like the smartphone and portable music player markets, and then blowing away the competition, but the sports and action video camera market may be too small a fish for Apple to try and fry. However, with investors knowing Apple's modus operandi they punished GoPro's stock with it taking a double-digit loss today.
"With 10 million units sold worldwide and an average selling price of $300 it is just not worth it for Apple to get into," said Chris Chute, IDC's research VP, digital imaging practices.
Chute added that in smaller categories such as this Apple would rather partner with a firm that has a product that would complement Apple's portfolio.
This line of thought was seconded by Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst, consumer electronics at IHS Technology.
"It is clear this is an area of continued excitement and [the camera] is something that would fit in with Apple's tech portfolio the question is whether there is enough volume to make it interesting for Apple," he said.
Another vote in GoPro's favor is the company would not have to compete with Apple near term as it often takes years after a patent is filed before a finished product comes to market. Also, Apple is known for simply filing a patent as a placeholder with no real intention of ever rolling out a product.
What is probably lurking in the back of investors', and GoPro execs', minds today is that Apple does take on new challenges like phones, tablets and music players or rolls out a product like Apple TV where it is content just to be a me-too player.
"Apple does take markets that are not particularly dynamic and figures out how to do them correctly," Selburn said.
However, if the patent is a true expression of Apple's intent to enter the camera market and take on GoPro that company could find itself involved in a major battle.
"The move does make sense. Other companies are competing with GoPro with little success. Apple is well positioned and its installed customer base would give it some traction and an advantage," said Van Baker, research VP for Gartner (IT) , adding that GoPro has probably been expecting another major player to enter its category.
The other thought is Apple's eventual presence could add even more energy to the camera market.
"If Apple comes in and does, say what it did, to the MP3 market would it really hurt GoPro?" Selburn asked.
One example of Apple helping its competition happened last fall when Apple Pay was announced. Google's (GOOG) Google Wallet digital payment system had been languishing, but it took off on the word that Apple was also entering this arena.
The analysts also pointed out that the camera patent could be intended for another use all together. It could be used in tandem with an iPhone, Apple Watch or even something as outlandish as a drone.
TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.