As things currently stand, anyone keen to get their hands on a Pebble smartwatch has to hop online and pre-order the $150 device, with delivery taking place some time in “summer 2013”. From this weekend, however, there may be another option, with some Best Buy stores in the US reportedly gearing up to sell the device. If true, it would be the first brick-and-mortar store to stock the gadget.
Two Best Buy employees delivered the news to 9to5Mac. The pair produced what they claim to be inventory data (below) showing the name of the smartwatch – classified as a “digital communication accessory – together with the in-stock date (Sunday, July 7). The workers also said they’d been personally informed by management that the high-tech watch would be sold at Best Buy from this weekend.
As 9to5Mac points out, “Best Buy typically rolls out specials and new products on Sundays, so this date makes sense.”
But it adds that “an in-stock date could also mean that Best Buy stores are scheduled to receive the product on that date, but sales will only begin a few days later.”
The inventory data states “no” to home delivery, so it seems sales of the watch will be limited to brick-and-mortar stores and not be available through its online store.
It remains to be seen whether Best Buy’s reported involvement marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between the smartwatch maker and Best Buy, or if it’s simply a short-term, one-off promotion. It’s also unclear how many stores might sell the device. All should be revealed on Sunday.
The Pebble smartwatch was the result of a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign last year, a campaign which sailed past its $100,000 target within two hours of launch before going on to raise $10 million in the space of just one month.
The feature-packed e-paper watch started shipping in January, though keeping up with demand appears to be the biggest challenge for its maker at the current time.
Its popularity certainly suggests there’s a market for wrist-based gadgetry of this kind, with big-hitters such as Samsung, Apple and Google all reportedly prepping similar devices. Sony already has a smartwatch on the market, the second iteration of which is coming in September. With other companies also working to enter the smartwatch space, we can certainly expect to see the market really take off in the next 12 months.