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Will Steve Ballmer Giggle at Apple TV?

Rocco Pendola

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's one thing to question Apple's ability to innovate after Steve Jobs, it's entirely another to laugh when credible leaks suggest what it might be doing next.

He who does not listen to the raspy howl of history, shall be doomed to repeat it. Yet joker after joker can't seem to contain him or herself in response to word that Apple might release a premium-priced -- $1,500 to $2,500 -- television set that would work in conjunction with mini-screens, wearable technology and something called iRing. Granted it's all rumor, however, if it's true, don't laugh. Instead, look out!.

When Apple does something, particularly hardware, it usually does it incredibly well. Jobs set the bar high, which makes the next big thing more crucial than it ever was. So Tim Cook will not get a pass. In fact, if he fails to break meaningful ground with whatever's new and next, don't be shocked if he finds himself out of a job.

Question as much as you like. I do. But laugh and second-guess something tangible from Apple at your own peril. Don't do what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did prior to the iPhone launch and giggle at the notion of an expensive smartphone.

You'll be as wrong as the folks who thought iPod was nothing but a Sony Walkman knockoff, iPad a toy that could never outsell PCs and iPad mini a relatively cheap piece of plastic about to enter a space dominated by Google's Android and Amazon.com's Kindle.

I question whether or not Apple can continue to come up with ideas and implement them as well as Steve Jobs did, but, when I see a plan taking shape, I'm not dumb enough to scoff at it.

If Tim Cook took a pass at center ice from Steve Jobs and is set to unveil a $2,000 television set that will redefine what a freaking television set is, let's hammer it.

There's plenty to worry about -- apologies, bad software/services and cheesy evolution such as rumored size and color changes for iPhones and iPads -- but if Apple ends up saying, We're entering a space that's new for us, but, at the same time, intimately connected with the devices we have released before this one, there's little chance it will fail.

This is the Apple way. Awesome user experience, brilliant design and quality hardware. But, even more than that, it's one product flowing naturally from the one that came before. That's exactly what iPad did from iPhone and iPhone from iPod. And they hooked almost flawlessly into MacBook and Apple's sticky ecosystem. An ecosystem fueled by the halo effect created by the company's world-changing devices.

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

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