The wearable industry is in an odd phase of life. Multiple manufacturers have released a myriad of wearables upon a market that was supposedly demanding them. The problem now is that sales have been significantly lower than expected, causing manufacturers to struggle and leading investors to become wary. While large companies like Apple and Samsung can absorb the blows without too much of an issue, it’s the smaller wearable-focused companies that are now feeling the pinch.
Pebble is one of the original wearable manufacturers, coming forth from a wildly popular Kickstarter campaign. The company got into the wearable scene before most of the larger manufacturers, which gave it a leg up with early adopters. The company has continued to release new products that have proven popular among fans, but the competition has grown fierce and Pebble remains technologically behind in some areas, causing it to have a narrower appeal.
As a result of the growing problem, Pebble is laying off 40 employees, or about 25% of its staff. These layoffs will occur this week and are largely to blame on a less-than-ideal fundraising scene. In an effort to pull ahead, Pebble will focus even more on health and fitness, working with partners to offer benefits and an ecosystem that other wearables can’t. The company is also hoping for a good launch in India, where it will begin selling its products next month as part of a partnership with Amazon.
Whatever the future may hold for Pebble, we’ll be keeping an eye on it. Stay tuned.