Let's Hope We Don't See 'Apple Gear'


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On Thursday I did a 'quick take' summary for TheStreet's video regarding the new Samsung smart watch.

Before the company's unveiling of the new product, I was working on a piece for Apple's new iWatch -- at least, that's what it's been dubbed -- wondering whether or not it would really make a difference to the general population, or to Apple's bottom-line.

Unfortunately, the answer is not necessarily a layup, especially considering that Apple has never confirmed that a smart watch has been put into motion. But for the sake of their reputation, I hope it's nothing like that of Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

Good grief! The thing looks terrible. It's enormous, clunky, and not exactly easy on the eyes. I mean, I'm no fashionista here, but hell, it's not a big secret that for wearable technology to work, it's got to have some glamour to it, too.

From the beginning I have been skeptical on wearable technology. Google Glass, I could see working -- no pun intended -- if they managed to make it look like the fashionable eyewear that seems to be growing exponentially more popular by the hipster.

The iWatch is something that, unless it's truly groundbreaking -- which I tend to doubt -- won't be a game changer, but I really hope I'm wrong. I don't think I'll wear one. Maybe I will. Maybe all of America will. But if it's like Samsung's watch, then toss Apple, and its stock, out the door.

Because if Wall Street, which already has the flawed perception that the company can't innovate, isn't blown away by this, assuming the iWatch actually is the next new product, the stock is going to get trashed.

I will add, that if it's a true game changer for athletes and fitness fanatics, I can see where the product would have a market. But again, that market isn't big enough to make a substantial dent to Apple's bottom-line.

The Galaxy Gear, which Chris Ciaccia did an excellent write up on, is expected to retail for $299. $299? I just can't picture anyone paying that, especially today's picky consumers. Essentially, he summed up the entire thing when he said:

"The device comes in six, mostly gaudy, colors - jet black, mocha gray, wild orange, oatmeal beige, rose gold and lime green. The watch only works with the Galaxy Note 3, despite Samsung having more phones in its lineup than one can possibly imagine. For the watch not to work with any other Galaxy product, including Samsung's Galaxy S 4, its main phone, is incredibly short-sighted by the company, and something that either gets resolved REAL quick, or Samsung winds up having egg on its face."

To me, it just seems like Samsung picked up the scent of an impending iWatch from Apple and tried to beat them to the punch. Well, they beat them alright, but I don't think Samsung will have the last laugh.

Speaking of which, I got a pretty good laugh when Gregory Lee, president of Samsung Communications America, said, "Galaxy Gear combines convenience and technology, and is the first of its kind."

Don't worry, it gets better:

"This is proof and reflection that Samsung is truly, relentlessly innovative in bringing first-to-market products."

Seriously? I get that Samsung was the first large tech company to launch a smart watch. But simply being the first to launch does not make you the pioneer.

If that were the case, I could have slapped my iPod Nano to a rubber band and 'proved' that I was a relentlessly innovative fellow. In fact, I think the Galaxy Gear is so bad, that it actually weighed on shares of Apple in Thursday's trading session, scaring investors of what Apple's might be like.

For shareholders and the company alike, let's all pray that Apple has something way cooler up its sleeve. Literally.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. .

At the time of publication the author is long AAPL.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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