Don't Believe the Smartwatch Hype? Pebble Sold 400,000 in 2013
Last year was a banner year for smartwatch startup Pebble, but there are stormclouds on the horizon.
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Pebble may have started as a classroom concept, but since joining Kickstarter in 2012 it has become one of the biggest names in the rapidly growing wearable tech sector. Need proof? The startup moved some 400,000 units last year, and expects to double that figure in 2014.
Of course, while it has a strong foothold for the time being, Pebble isn't without some serious rivals. Worthy opponents include the already-available Samsung Galaxy Gear, which shipped 800,000 units in just two months last year, and shiny new Android Wear-powered devices, which should arrive en masse this summer and fall.
Still, Pebble is no small fry. The company's app store (currently available on iOS and Android) offers more than 1,000 selections, and boasts partnerships with big names like Evernote and eBay. Fortune estimates that the company raked in about $60 million during 2013.
Competition doesn't seem to daunt Pebble's CEO and founder, Eric Migicovsky. In an interview with Fortune, Migicovsky said:
"It's exciting to see this market grow so quickly—enabling more interesting use cases and keeping all of us laser-focused on creating the very best user experiences we can."
This year—as companies like Samsung, Google, and maybe even Apple take dead aim at consumers' wrists—it looks like it's time for Pebble to prove its worth. It's already come out with the new, aesthetically improved Pebble Steel, but with devices like the new Moto 360 on the horizon, baby steps might not be enough.