Apple Watch event causes a spike in pre-orders… for the Pebble Time

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What were your impressions of the Apple Watch launch event last Monday? Were you left cold or scrabbling for the Buy button? According to TechCrunch, the day after Apple’s big wearable reveal, pre-orders for the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel were up 167 percent per hour.

That’s a lot of people who presumably looked at the Apple Watch and then thought they’d rather have a Pebble instead — maybe there were a substantial number of potential smartwatch buyers who wanted to see what cards Apple was holding before pledging to the Pebble cause.

These are certainly two very different devices. The Pebble smartwatches support iOS and Android, while Apple Watch is of course only compatible with iPhones; the e-ink Pebbles only need charging once a week, while with Apple’s wearable you’re going to be plugging it in every night.

“Apple’s event this week caused a nice spike in support for us, as anticipated,” Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky told TechCrunch. “When the biggest company in the world enters your market, that’s the kind of validation you can only dream of. Ultimately the more awareness for smartwatches, and the more choice for consumers, the better for everyone. 2015 is going to be an extraordinarily exciting year.”

The data shows that the amount of money pouring in for the Pebble Time Kickstarter more than doubled the day after the Apple Watch event. With 12 days of fundraising still to go, Pebble has raked in more than $18 million for its latest pair of smartwatches — a new Kickstarter record and way above the original $500,000 target. Shipping is expected to begin in May, just a couple of weeks after the Apple Watch.