Kickstarter darling Pebble has come a long way from the crowdfunding site it planted roots in.
The smartwatch maker announced this week that their record-breaking wearable tech can be found on the shelves of Best Buy beginning July 7. But Canadians who didn’t nab this little piece of geek arm candy the first time around shouldn’t start to lineup anytime soon. Pebble’s Best Buy rollout will only be in the US with no plans announced for Best Buy Canada.
Those willing to make the short trip over the border can pick up a Jet Black version of the programmable, waterproof, iOS and Android compatible smartwatch for $149 USD. The retail price is $30 more than the original backing price Pebble was asking for in 2012 when they raised over than $10.2 million with more than 68,000 backers.
"The outpouring of support from our Kickstarter backers was the first signal to our team that Pebble's approach to smart, wearable technology was something the world was ready for," recalls Migicovsky. "We've learned that people want their Pebbles. Thanks to Best Buy, we're giving folks more ways to make that happen."
This exclusive retail launch partnership with Best Buy is a critical step for Pebble to significantly expand their user base and satisfy strong demand before a slew of smartwatches start to hit the market.
Pebble has benefited greatly from being first to market with their smartwatch with essentially no current competition, or none to speak of anyways. This lead could have been much greater for Pebble if not for some major hiccups in production and shipping which delayed the September 2012 release to a late January 2013.
Hot on Pebble’s heels is a ton of independent smartwatches ironically following the same footsteps this trailblazing technology is now leaving behind. Most are expected to leapfrog Pebble with newer and more advanced features and functionalities. One strong contender, the Kreyos Meteor, features voice and gesture control, and has already surpassed its stretch goal of $300,000 on Indiegogo with 36 days left to go.
With 2013 shaping up to be the war for our wrist, it is in Pebble’s best interest to grab as much market share as possible before the big guys enter the space. Sony’s second hit at the bat, the SmartWatch 2, is expected to hit the market in September of this year, in and around the same time that the rumor mill suggests Apple and some of the other bigger players like Google and Samsung will announce their own.