SAN FRANCISCO, Dewc 2 ― Website The Information reports that Fitbit is close to buying the smartwatch-maker Pebble, known for its string of successful crowdfunding campaigns. Due to financial difficulties, Pebble is under pressure to find a buyer, although the brand itself risks being phased out after a potential takeover.
Despite its original products, the American startup hasn’t managed to withstand growth in the smartwatch market, which has led to increasingly tough competition.
A pioneer in the smartwatch sector, Pebble’s history is intrinsically linked to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, via which it launched several successive campaigns to develop and sell products. Campaigns for the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time drew particularly exceptional sums, earning US$12 (RM53.55) and US$20 million respectively.
Unveiled in 2012, the first funding campaign for the Pebble Watch created a real buzz, which also heightened the interest of big-name manufacturers in the still fledgling smartwatch market. Pebble’s first wearable was a watch with a “geeky” appearance and no touchscreen, but it was already compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones thanks to Bluetooth technology. The watch was able to handle calls, as well as social networking notifications and calendar alerts. It could also be used as a remote control for smartphones or GoPro-style camcorders.
Two years later, Pebble launched a more advanced model with a metal finish, called the Pebble Steel. This second-generation of stainless steel smartwatches brought the firm in line with the trend towards more stylish wearables. This was followed by the Pebble Time, the first model to get a colour screen, then the Pebble Time Round, adopting the increasingly popular round dial shape.
Pebble reports sales of over a million smartwatches since its launch and boasts several thousand dedicated applications. ― AFP-Relaxnews