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With "money tight," 25% of Pebble's work force gets axed

Posted: , by Alan F.

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On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told those watching Apple's new product announcements that the Apple Watch was the top selling smartwatch in the world. That could explain why Pebble is laying off 25% off its staff this week. That works out to 40 employees receiving pink slips. The company first found fame and fortune by running a very successful Kickstarter campaign not once, but twice.

The issue, according to Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky, is the lack of funding. The executive says that venture capitalists are being tighter with their money. This comes after Pebble raised $26 million over the last 8 months, and sold $20 million in watches over Kickstarter since February 2015. A joint venture with Amazon to sell Pebble watches in India will start next month, and could help bring in some much needed cash.

Migicovsky says that Pebble has discovered that its customers want to use Pebble timepieces for tracking their health. As a result, the company will focus on the health and fitness capabilities of its watches.

One major worry for Pebble is Apple's $50 price cut on the Apple Watch, which was announced Monday. With the Apple Watch now starting at $299, there is only a $49 difference between that and the $250 top of Pebble's price range.

source: TechInsider via Pocketlint

17 Comments
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posted on 24 Mar 2016, 03:13

1. JMartin22 (Posts: 1966; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


It's natural I guess. They can't compete with the budget Apple has on campaign marketing and R&D. It was obvious that when big name brands/manufacturers jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon that a small kickstarter would take a backseat.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 04:09 4

3. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


Apple has marketing the budget, yes.
Apple does campaings, yes.

But Apple does not invest in R&D! No

Despite being the richest tech corporation, Apple is not even at the top 20 in R&D investments.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 06:32

5. Zomer (Posts: 268; Member since: 31 May 2013)


Apple only has a few products that's the reason why.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 15:56

12. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 9532; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Though having less products could be why they have less R&D spending, but its more of, their top 3 selling products are all the same product.

The iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad are basically all the same device. They dont require a bunch of spending. You basically do it the smart way.

You take which device would have you spend the least amount of money to make viable. Then you look at yoru nest product and see how much extra to add certain features.

For example, Seteve Jobs stated the ipod Touch was the training wheels for the iPhone. both devices are identical, thus the only extra money Apple spent on the iPhone was giving it cellular capability and makign it fit in the case. How much money is that? Very small. The Ipad is just the Touch with a 10" display. The first iPad had no extra features above the touch other than size. The fact the ipad didnt get cellular caoabilities until later means Apple didnt need top spend a lot.

So yes I agree with what you said that Apple has a smaller product portfolio which in general would lead to a smaller budget needed to improve them.

But based on what we have seem since 2007, the improvements have been small, they have been cheap.

Even to this day, Apple doesn't even have a IP67/68 rated device.

The rest of it is Apple will do whatever maximizes profits which include skimping on specs and hardware.

After all, how much extra money woudl it cost Apple to make the iPhone faster? Well we already have an answer. The iPhone cost Apple $250 to make, the S7 cost Samsung $280 to make. For $30 extra bucks the iPhone could have hardware equal or better than the Galaxy S.

After all they make their own CPU, adding more cores is not hard to do obviously since even Apple has done it.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 06:37

6. JMartin22 (Posts: 1966; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


They're not the biggest investors, but they invest nonetheless, that's more than Pebble can say.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 08:54 1

7. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


Apple invests more than what Pebble can say, because Pebble doesn't have the amount of resources Apple has!

How can you give what you do not have?

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 09:08

8. JMartin22 (Posts: 1966; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Where are you doing with this? That was the entire point of my initial post. If Pebble doesn't have the resources to compete, then that's on Pebble.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 11:13 1

9. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


But you made it sound like Pebble is inferior to Apple because it lacks enough resources to compete.

You do not need to be the richest to show how great you can become.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 11:50

11. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12503; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Don't waste your time trying to explain it to him.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 15:59

13. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 9532; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


People like you will never understand its not always about how much money you have. Its more of what is done with whatever how much you have.

Pebble may not have the money to invest in lots of things, but they do have the know-how. They can get the money they need by exploring other options.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 03:32

2. MINDoSOUL (Posts: 147; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)


(Reduce the bezels + Add a heart monitor & Pedometer + Ship faster) and i will take you over Apple watch any day even if both of you have the same price.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 04:52 2

4. IgorEfremenko (Posts: 71; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)


I believe, it might help if they stop doing these ugly childish plastic watches.
C'mon pebble, you should have been developing the Steel line-up!

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 11:27

10. gaming64 (Posts: 234; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)


There is nothing to love about this smartwatch.The "plastic toy watch" design and the UI just isn't a deal breaker. Don't give me sh*t about this being better than the Apple Watch. At least Apple is better with handling appeal to audience than this.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 16:14

14. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 9532; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Apple's appeal is the delusion. I checked out the Pebble, its just boring. It looks like an old Casio from the 80's. But the $250 one does offer some ok things, but overall its not worth the cost.

Again all these smartwatch makers have something in common, so you can see I have no bias for or against any OEM.

All of them have a bar of entry - PRICE. These guys are asking roughly 50% the cost of a smartphone for a device that doesn't even do 50% of what a smartphone can do.

if your device is basically posting message forwarded from your phone, then it offers no benefit over your phone.

App issues. I don't care which platform watch has the least or more support. They are all equal in that the form factor itself prevents them from doing any more than they do already.

if all you need is a watch that can read your pulse and tell you how fast your heart is beating, then it doesn't need to cost above $100 is ridiculous.

The Apple Watch is a piece of jewelry first that happens to have a small computer inside. Is it worth $350? NO!

The Gear S/S2 dp have health monitoring, but its limited and so again are the apps. Sure it has cellular capabilities. Is it worth $350? NO!

The Pebble, any smartwatch with Android Wear or any of those Fitbits and MS Band that cost around or above $150, are simply not worth the cost.

Example, the cheapest FitBit I saw I think was 79.00. It is basically just a chip inside that can read your pulse for heart rate and count your steps. It probably costs less than $25 to make. Sure I realize manufacturing/distribution/paychecks/R&D all need to be covered. I think $79.00 is reasonably fair for what it offers.

But again, we know it cost Apple roughly $50 to make the Apple Watch for the Sport and maybe up too $300 for the Watch Edition which they are trying to pawn off for $10,000 and it only has $100 of actual gold in it if that much.

All of them including Samsung, and I dont care if I own 2 options from them; they are still wayyyyyy overpriced for the limited option they provide. I dont need my heart rate. I can feel my own pulse and use a timer on my phone to count how fast my heart is beating and I can be far more accurate then any of these devices can be. Unless you run or jog, you dont need to know how many steps you took, unless you're on some special regiment from a doctor and you want to be as close as possible to hitting that as you need to be.

But the other lame duck functions of pushing notifications to your wrist is lame, boring and cheap tasks your phone already does. if all your watch is goign to do is repeat the same stuff, then how is it worth almost as much? IT ISNT.

The way I see it, with exception of Fitbit, they all need to drop this fad and make something more useful. Smartwatches offer no benefit whatsoever because they dont offer any functions. The only plus to my S/S2 is that when I go riding my bike, I dont want to take my phone as I have found phones that people have..

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 16:24

15. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 9532; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


...lost while riding; is I can still get my calls and texts from the wife without taking my phone and risk losing $800.

They can offer a small benefit, however the cost of that benefit is simply to high and that si for ALL OF THEM, and the less the device does, the cheaper it should cost. if it doesnt at least offer 3G/4G, then its price should nto exceed 4150, I dont care what brand it is and even with 3G/4G it should exceed $200 tops.

50% the cost of a phone is preposterous! And that is equal to all of them even Apple , Samsung, Moto and Microsoft especially. All these companies already have made billions from other products, they didnt need to make these so ridiculously expensive. Apple especially with a Watch for $10,000 that has less than $300 worth of anything inside or outside. Facts show the Watch Edition contains less than $100 in actually gold. 24K of pure cold is work more than $12k and 18k gold is valued today at $29 per ounce. The Apple Watch edition contains than $1000 worth of gold based on this -http://www.phonearena.com/news/With-money-tight-25-of-Pebbles-work-force-gets-axed_id79584/comments?post=1407199#post_1407199 which is valued at $850. Add the $10.00 band and the $25 of tech inside and the device is worth roughly $1000 in value and with a 100% markup, $2000 is much easier to swallow vs $10,000. That is pure greed from all of them.

They all really should die a horrible death.

posted on 26 Mar 2016, 04:51

16. gaming64 (Posts: 234; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)


TL;DR

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 13:22

17. JunitoNH (Posts: 1693; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Anyway, Pebble will be out of business soon, as well as their Crackerjacks watch.

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