Just days before Samsung’s Galaxy Gear launches in the US, the company behind the Pebble smartwatch is expanding its distribution channels with select AT&T stores stocking the $150 wrist-based gadget from this Friday. It’ll also be offered via the wireless carrier’s online store.
Best Buy is currently the only brick-and-mortar store offering the Pebble smartwatch, though it can also be ordered via its online store as well as at getpebble.com.
The customizable, Bluetooth-enabled device connects wirelessly with iOS and Android handsets, and via silent vibrations notifies users of new text messages, emails, and alerts. The user can also accept or reject incoming calls, and use the device to control music on their handset. The Pebble runs an increasing number of apps by third-party developers, and yes, it also tells the time.
The Pebble smartwatch launched following an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign last year that raced past its $100,000 target within just two hours of launch. It went on to raise $10 million in the space of a single month.
With support like that, it came as little surprise to learn recently that the company has taken more than 275,000 pre-orders for the device, with 93,000 shipped to backers and customers in 150+ countries since the start of the year.
The company began selling the watch at Best Buy in July, partly in a move to reduce stress on its own shipping system though also to help build interest in the gadget.
While the rollout at AT&T is bound to stir further interest in the Pebble among consumers, competition in the smartwatch space is already starting to grow. Sony recently launched its SmartWatch 2 device, while Samsung’s $300 Galaxy Gear watch, currently only compatible with a few Samsung devices, is set to land in the US next week – also at AT&T, among other places. While other big hitters such as Apple and Google are also rumored to be working on high-tech wrist-based devices, plenty of smaller companies are also keen for a piece of the action. Check out DT’s comprehensive rundown of all the smartwatches currently available or in development here.