Its been eight months and users have poured more than $10 million in crowdsourced funding on Kickstarter, but the folks behind Pebble are finally shipping their critically acclaimed smartwatch, following through with a CES promise they made earlier this month.
Pebble’s team posted its 30th update to its Kickstarter page, and noted that while some kinks need to be ironed out before additional units are shipped, the first watches should be arriving on 500 of it backer’s doorsteps in the next week or two. If you ordered a black Pebble watch, you’ll probably be among the first recipients of the watch since the team is manufacturing one color at a time – black was the most popular color of the five offered colors. Despite setting expectations high, the Pebble team has found out that it’s actually impossible to manufacture all the colors at once.
The team does still have a long road ahead with fulfilling a total order of 89,000 Pebble watches. Its manufacturing center is able to pump out between 800 and 1,000 watches on a daily basis. Assuming that the manufacturer runs at its full production capacity, it may take up to four months before the final promised Pebble leaves the factory, technically speaking. But it’s more complicated than that.
Assembled Pebble watches are flown to distribution centers based out of the United States for U.S. orders, and Hong Kong for orders outside of the U.S. so there’s a five to seven day delay. Even if Pebble’s manufacturer encounters a major hiccup during the manufacturing process you’ll eventually get your watch. The team is somewhat hopeful it may be able to bump up the production capacity to to 2,400 watches a day.
There’s additional Pebble news to be had alongside news of the first batch of watches. The anticipated Android app will be available to download tomorrow, January 24, and the iOS app is still in the notorious Apple App Store review process. So if you happen to get your hands on a Pebble before the iOS app goes live, the team writes in the blog post that you “will be able to do notifications/Music control but will not be able to install watchfaces or upgrade to the latest PebbleOS until the app appears in the App Store.” Apple app reviewers are known for being extremely fickle about the details in an app before it’s pushed to the App Store, so there’s no telling when the app will be available. We’ll just have to keep our eyes open for that announcement.
While we haven’t reviewed the Pebble watch, we were impressed when we tried it out at CES earlier this month. The wait may be excruciating, but it should be worth it.