Mark

Mark Mruss is a computer programmer by nature and by profession. He's written Android apps, win32 apps (we called them applications back then), apps in python, and even a website or two. He is currently fascinated by all things mobile. He likes computers, beer, and his family (not in that order).

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In lucky episode 13, Mark and Ben take a look at the newly Kickstarted Pebble Time smartwatch. We look at its new features, the record breaking kickstarter numbers, and why Ben decided not to get one.

Shame Tweet?

Yes, we are currently running a twitter shame-tweet campaign to see if we can get Ben to give in and purchase an Apple Watch. You don’t even have to write anything, just click this handy dandy shame tweet link.

Now down to podcast business.

What is the Pebble Time?

Pebble Time Smart Watch

It’s version three of the Pebble smartwatch series developed by the Pebble Technology, Corp out in California. They’ve sold over One million units so far, which is pretty cool, check them out.

So why cover the it on this Podcast?

Well the Pebble Time just finished a record breaking Kickstarter campaign, and Ben has a Pebble so we thought it would be a good time to talk about it. Also we felt that we had to cover something other than the Apple Watch for once. (Even though we managed to squeeze it in a few times)

Why did Pebble go back to Kickstarter again for the Pebble Time?

For that answer let’s look at their Kickstarter page:

Pebble was brought to life by 68,929 backers who supported our vision three years ago. Even though we’ve grown tremendously since then, we’re still a small company battling some of the largest competitors in the world. We believe that this is the best and most efficient way for us to get our latest product to the people who want it most: people like you.

How did it do in it’s Kickstarter campaign?

The Pebble Time kickstarter was very successful. The campaign broke several Kickstarter records, including raising one million dollars in the shortest amount of time and the most money raised overall. TechCrunch has a nice article that broke the Kickstarter numbers down so let’s take a look at them:

In the one month Kickstarter Pebble raised $20,338,986 USD which translats into a total of 95,906 pebbles sold. That total number can be broken down into: 58,966 Pebble Time sold and 36,940 Pebble Time Steel sold. The Steel is just a more upscale fancy looking version of the watch.

Over all this was a 11.6% increase in the number of Pebble’s sold between the two Kickstarter campaigns, and an increase of 65.8% in the amount or revenue raised. The large increase in the total amount raised and the modest increase in the number of units sold shows a much higher average revenue per user (ARPU) on the second Kickstarter. This increase in ARPU makes sense given the higher price of the Pebble watches in the second Kickstarter and the addition of the also higher priced Pebble Time Steel variant. The original pebble was Kickstarted for either $115 or $120 whereas the Pebble Time Kickstarted for $159 to $179 and the Pebble Time Steel was Kickstarted at $250.00.

What’s new in the Pebble Time?

The big new features in the Pebble Time are:

  • A Colour screen with 30 FPS animation capabilities.
  • A built-in microphone to respond to emails and texts.
  • The new Pebble Timeline OS.
  • Smart bands that let you easily add sensors and other components to your Pebble.

Pebble Time Smart Watch

So why didn’t Ben buy it?

Well for the complete answer you’ll have to listen to the podcast, but in a nutshell he felt that the new features were not worth the upgrade, especially given that the Pebble Timeline will eventually be released for all models.

How does the Apple Watch fit into this? (Mark)

I’m glad you asked, again listen to the podcast for all of the details, but really we look at the Pebble as being something quite different than the Apple Watch and not a direct competitor. In the end we decide that the expected large sales of the Apple Watch will help Pebble sell more smartwatches. A rising tide and all…

Anything else?

Yes, did you shame tweet Ben yet? If not here’s another link:

Oh and don’t forget to leave a comment or a review of The Incoherent Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcast, every review helps.

Later.

Mark Mruss is a computer programmer by nature and by profession. He’s written Android apps, win32 apps (we called them applications back then), apps in python, and even a website or two. He is currently fascinated by all things mobile. He likes computers, beer, and his family (not in that order).