With close to 70,000 backers and over $10 million raised, the Pebble smartwatch is one of the most anticipated projects in Kickstarter’s history. The founders originally planned to send out orders for the device in September, but the demand was so overwhelming that they have now announced they won’t be able to start shipping on time.
Before they launched on Kickstarter, Pebble only planned to manufacture 1,000 units. Now they are going to produce an initial run of 85,000 units, so their timetable has shifted. Pebble says they are currently in a phase called Engineering Verification, where they have engineering samples and they are evaluating each individual component. No timeframe was provided for when the first Pebble smartwatches might ship.
This could be disappointing news if you were in the market for a new smartwatch, but there are alternatives. I’ve recently been wearing the Sony SmartWatch, which can be found online for as low as $114, and I continue to be impressed with the device. It’s hard to compare it to the Pebble since that hasn’t launched yet, but Sony already has the advantage of an active developer ecosystem that has created over 100 apps.
Hopefully Pebble will update their timetable soon and let us know when the first watches will ship, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were delayed til next year.