Smartwatch start-up company Pebble revealed today for the first time that it has received 190,000 pre-orders for its wearable technology through its own web store, following on from the enormously successful Kickstarter campaign it ran last year. That means it collectively closed in around 275,000 pre-orders total for the smartwatch, which is impressive early traction for a device that did not have a proven market niche to trade in.
Pebble co-founder Eric Migicovsky explained the company wanted to reveal the total order volume now as a follow-up to its Best Buy availability announcement, in order to provide some context around the challenges that the startup has faced in terms of shipping product to backers. Response at Best Buy has also been very good, Migicovsky has said, though the team is not yet ready to focus on specific numbers. The Pebble has sold out at many of Best Buy’s retail locations already. For the first six to ten months following the close of the Kickstarter campaign, the focus for Pebble was exclusively on shipping. The startup is getting to a point where it can change its focus to start working towards accomplishing its longer term goals as a company. Part of that includes meeting demand and making sure everyone who pre-ordered receives their device, which should happen over the next year, Migicovsky says. But developers are the other big priority that Pebble is now turning its attention to. “Our focus as a company is now shifting to supporting third-party developers,” Migicovsky says. The company has seen over 1 million watch apps downloaded to Pebble devices, as measured by installs made through its iOS and Android apps. There’s already an active online community around the Pebble Software Development Kit, and Migicovsky says that fostering that will be where the startup shifts spending and development efforts. “This means our developer tools will get better, we’ll be focusing on how developers can get their tools out to users,” he said. “It’s in our best interest, as well as in the interest of developers to share this these stories.”
So now that Pebble has come good on getting into the market, it will focus on these two goals to help build the smartwatch into a lasting, robust platform to trade from. Of course, those 275,000 pre-orders, whilst this figure is impressive on its own, might not look so stupendous, should Apple release an iWatch as it appears to be preparing to do. But this cannot be quantified as it is still an unknown speculation (despite rumours and patents) and Pebble are doing their best to solidify their current market positioning, this is the best thing the startup can do right now.
[Image via metro]