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Pebble Time smartwatch breaks Kickstarter records

by Mark Tyson on 30 March 2015, 12:05

Tags: Kickstarter

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacqea

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The original Pebble smartwatch crowdfunding project became famous due to its strong support on Kickstarter and its headline-grabbing record-breaking funding levels. The new Pebble Time colour e-ink smartwatch stands out from the pack with its waterproofing, full week of battery life, a body which is 20 per cent thinner than the original and an accessible price of $200.

This weekend the Pebble Time smartwatch Kickstarter project came to its completion with $20,336,930 raised, supported by the backing of 78,463 people. According to CNN Money this project was the fastest ever to surpass $1 million in funding – the feat took just 49 minutes. Within a week the funding level had busted past the Coolest Cooler funding record of $13.3 million in pledges.

HEXUS previously had a look at the Pebble Time smartwatch as part of our MWC 2015 smartwatch and smartband roundup. Coinciding with MWC, Pebble announced a new 'Steel' version of the second generation device called the 'Pebble Time Steel'. The Steel also added better battery life bringing up to 10 days of battery stamina. All Pebble Time smartwatches sport a colour e-ink display with a button activated backlight. The devices feature a microphone for voice control and responding to notifications. A three button before / now / next array controls the watch and it is fully compatible with the 6,500+ existing Pebble apps.

Talking about the latest spectacular crowdfunding round John Dimatos, Kickstarter's lead for tech and design projects, said Pebble's double success showed the power of community, "The Pebble team wanted to come back to the people who supported them at the start, and that community really responded," reports CNN.

The Pebble Time is due to reach backers, who paid between $159 and $179 in funding, from May 2015 - it will retail for $199. The Pebble Time Steel will be delivered to backers, who paid $250, by August – it will retail for $299.

Is it possible that the Pebble Time will be David to the Apple Watch Goliath?



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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stands out from the pack with its waterproofing, full week of battery life, a body which is 20 per cent thinner than the original and an accessible price of $200
Smartwatch makers please note - these should be the key design points of your product, (although the “thinner” is arguable).
Is it possible that the Pebble Time will be David to the Apple Watch Goliath?
Can't see it myself - the P.T. may be a fantastic piece of kit, but I'd guarantee that it'll lack the kind of bragging rights that come with an Apple Watch. Apple-bashing aside, the AW will probably mesh with iPhone a lot better than P.T. can hope for.
If I wanted a smart watch, this would be the one I bought
Crazy numbers - how much longer can they really expect to last in this market?

Don't get me wrong I love(d) my Pebble, and it was a great product..but it cannot compete with the Android Wear watches except perhaps on battery life - but even then when you get a decent number of notifications, you are talking 2-3 days with my LG G R (average of 2) and only 3-4 (average of 3) with my Pebble, so the different is not exactly huge. Thats based on 1 notification every 15 min or so during the working day, and some light “other” use for games/navigation/replying to SMS etc. Certainly not enough to make up for the gigantic gap between the pebble and android wear watches - something which I don't expect the new colour one to resolve given that it relies upon 3rd party developers - and Google/Apple have a much bigger community around them developing apps for their devices.

They are still making money predominately based on the fact they are the only real contender out there for iPhones - but that is all going to change in a few weeks. Most people who own an iPhone and want a smartwatch will buy an iWatch (regardless of price!) so I am pretty sure they will lose out big time there.

There will still be plenty of techies/geeks who want a pebble because its NOT an iWatch or Wear watch of course, but really enough to sustain things? They come over as a company that grew too big too fast on the strength of a really good start - but I think they need something new and innovative to keep going, rather than effectively playing catchup :(

Anyone who has backed it or who wants a “Time” over one of the Wear or iWatches, I am curious why? Whats the major selling point?
I don't get it myself. It's like going back to the 80's/early 90's when Casio gave us those massive digital watches with built in organiser-like functions. With all this stuff and more in modern phones, which most people will have on their person 24x7, why oh why would anyone spend out that kind of money on a watch lol. It has no USP that I can see.
Spud1
Anyone who has backed it or who wants a “Time” over one of the Wear or iWatches, I am curious why? Whats the major selling point?
I thought the big whoop with the Time was the way it presents events, reminders, etc - certainly that's what I remember from the Kickstarter page. PS LG G Watch R - nice. :)
LeetyMcLeet
I don't get it myself. It's like going back to the 80's/early 90's when Casio gave us those massive digital watches with built in organiser-like functions. With all this stuff and more in modern phones, which most people will have on their person 24x7, why oh why would anyone spend out that kind of money on a watch lol. It has no USP that I can see.
You think you've got problems - not only do I have a 1st Gen Sony smartwatch (not that usable to be honest) but I also still own one of these: (click the image if you want to know more - I linked to the article I lifted the image from)

Note please that despite this being 1980's tech - it's STILL usable as a watch (although there's something amiss with the docking station, otherwise I figure the organiser features would still be working too).