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TheStreet Open House

Apple: Please Don't Copy Samsung

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I'm as serious as cardiac arrest ( not even a heart attack). On Wednesday, when TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia was live blogging the Samsung event, I felt sick.

I thought it might have been the increased dose of Prozac, but an impromptu emergency room visit confirmed it wasn't. I was just having a reaction to the thought the rumors might be true. That Samsung beat Apple (AAPL) to the punch on "wearable technology," particularly a smartwatch; therefore Apple would end up, effectively, copying Samsung.

More than a few Americans have wondered aloud, when will technology hit a wall? We have our smartphones and tablets. We overconsume social media and all sorts of attendant entertainment and information. At some point, there's got to be a plateau. A breather. A step back before we can meaningfully move forward.

I think we're there.

Technology companies appear to have hit a wall as well. They've got nothing compelling -- after years of world-changing innovation from Apple -- so they put the marketing apparatus into motion and successfully spread the meme that wearable tech is the next big thing. A classic case of the public being told what's hot before they validate the assertion through their own action.

Dear Samsung and the rest of tech: You're not Steve Jobs.

With that in mind, I don't think Apple is going to drop the ball here. As skeptical as I am of Tim Cook as CEO, I can't believe he's just going to do the expected. Maybe he'll come hither with less expensive, larger-screen, multi-colored iPhones at next week's events in Cupertino and China.

But, from there, all I can do to settle my stomach is believe that those of us who love Apple and want it to remain dominant should expect the unexpected.

You could argue that Apple copied the artist formerly known as RIM, but I don't classify iPhone as a Blackberry (BBRY) knockoff. Steve Jobs simply took the notion of a smartphone -- as it was clear RIM wasn't about to evolve, let alone revolutionize its own creation -- and disrupted the living snot out of it. Just like he did prior when iPod replaced all other portable music players and after when iPad disrupted the PC market.

Decent case scenario -- Apples does the same here. It takes this absurd, clunky Knight Rider watch Samsung unveiled Wednesday and, somehow, turns it into something like a remotely normal person might want to carry on his or her person.

Best case scenario -- the iWatch is a mere head fake. If Apple even considered it, it dropped the plans long ago. They didn't really hire a guy from Nike to help design it. It was all a bad dream. Tim Cook realizes wearable tech will go down as the Pets.com of 2013-14. And iWatch is scrapped.

Something tells me most of us do not want -- or have room for -- an entirely new piece of technology in our lives. We just want somebody to come along and improve on the stuff we use everyday. That's the role Apple has played, for all intents and purposes, over the last several years.

That's why I'm not forgetting about (or losing hope in) Apple's living room plans. The next logical step -- after just nicely upgrading the existing pipeline -- is to take the television viewing experience and do to it what Apple did to the Walkman, Blackberry and laptops powered by Windows.

That's it. Kill another category. But do it in such a way that it doesn't attempt to shove something we absolutely do not need -- like a freaking smartwatch -- down our throats.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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