Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky on Thursday took to his Kickstarter page – the place where it all started for the smartwatch maker – to update backers on how the device is faring in the marketplace and what’s in store for the coming months.
In a lengthy post, Migicovsky said the company had so far taken over 275,000 pre-orders for the Pebble, with 93,000 shipped to backers and customers in more than 150 countries since January. He also said that app downloads had exceeded the million mark.
“This is great news for users and developers,” the CEO wrote. “More Pebbles equals more of a market and demand for Pebble watch apps. With the goal of getting Pebble onto as many wrists as possible, our manufacturing team is constantly working to improve quality and increase capacity. Every day thousands of new Pebbles are rolling off the line.”
And with the high-tech wristwatch selling at Best Buy from the beginning of this week, it’s absolutely essential the manufacturing team is at the top of its game to avoid keeping buyers waiting for too long – Pebble’s online store currently says orders should ship in the summer, while Migicovsky said some Best Buy stores have already sold out of the watch.
The company decided to launch the gadget at Best Buy to reduce stress on its own shipping system and to build interest in the watch at a major retailer, Migicovsky explained in his post.
Addressing concerns that the company has diverted shipments to Best Buy, away from getpebble.com pre-order customers, the CEO said the retail chain had “only received a fraction of our June manufacturing production volume.” He also offered detailed advice to backers who have not yet received their smartwatch.
Stating the company’s mission as “to create the world’s best smartwatch and ecosystem”, Migicovsky said the company has two main goals for the next 12 months: “1- Create a solid foundation for 3rd party app development on Pebble, and 2- Manufacture and ship with the goal of getting Pebble onto as many wrists as possible.”
In other news, the Pebble boss said in the next few weeks iOS users will have full support for Gmail and IMAP email notifications.
He also promised to improve support, hiring extra staff in an effort to shorten response times. “We’re scaling our team up constantly and will continue to work toward a 24 hours turnaround time,” Migicovsky wrote.
With so many tech giants reportedly gearing up to launch smartwatches of their own, Pebble is working to establish itself in the space before rival devices hit stores. Sales of over 275,000 units isn’t a bad start, though finding the resources to ramp up production to meet demand before competing watches come to market from the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google would certainly help to solidify its position.