With a million smartwatch sales under its belt, it’s hard not to take Pebble seriously. In the face of the onslaught of newcomers like Google’s Android Wear, pioneer Pebble stood its ground and refused to become just “another” smartwatch company. Bracing for the storm that Apple is brewing, the indie smartwatch darling is renewing its commitment not just with the prospect of new smartwatch models but with a new software platform that promises to be unlike anything else you’ve seen in the smartwatch market today.
By this time, smartwatches have lost their novelty in the tech world and sides have mostly been established. It isn’t surprising that Google’s Android Wear, which isn’t even a year old, has the lion’s share of the market as well as interest. Of course, Google’s way isn’t the only way, and Pebble’s continued and even successful existence proves that point. It also doesn’t hurt that unlike Android Wear, Pebble’s doors remain open to both Android and iOS devices.
The new Pebble platform, however, won’t be like Android Wear. CEO Eric Migicovsky describes Android Wear and some other smartwatch platforms as being app-centric, practically the equivalent of having a smartphone on your wrist. Pebble’s new approach will be different, he says. It will still have apps, that’s for sure, but the developers have rallied behind a different kind of interaction model for watches. Pebble is, sadly, not budging to give any hints, but perhaps there are some clues that can be derived from its hiring of some members of LG’s webOS design team.
It won’t be smooth sailing for Pebble, however, as a new and perhaps bigger threat looms over the horizon. The Apple Watch will soon hit the market and you can bet that no matter how similar or different its own paradigm is, it will be a smashing hit. Pebble will have to face the full might of Cupertino, in addition to the growing army of Android Wear-toting devices.
But Pebble has its own distinct appeal and a track record that ensures it will remain on the radar, at least for some time. The combination of simplicity, hardware, and efficiency will still sing to some who don’t want all the glamor, not to mention the price, that other bigger contenders impose. And if it manages to pull off that new smartwatch paradigm without a hitch, then we could be looking at a strong “third horse” for this year’s smartwatch race.
VIA: The Verge