The crowdfunding campaign is nearly over, but there’s still time to reach twice the original wearable’s capital.
It’s a genuine David versus Goliath story. Another one, since the little known (at the time) California-based Pebble Technology Corporation already defied all odds back in 2012, convincing everyday gadget aficionados to pledge north of $10 million for a wacky, futuristic concept.
Some called it gimmicky or impractical, very few expected it to materialize and take off, and yet, estimates put it at 1 million unit sales, more than all Android Wear devices combined. The pioneer’s legacy will be carried on by a new Time/Time Steel duo, introduced just as the Apple Watch was prepping its commercial rollout to emphasize the industry’s giants fail to scare off Pebble.
And it’s not unjustified ego at play either, given all Kickstarter records have been obliterated by the next-gen color e-paper-sporting smartwatches. With $20.13 million secured and only 13 hours to go before “donations” close, the Pebble Time is officially the most successful project entirely subsidized through the popular platform.
Technically, Star Citizen, an independent and as-yet unreleased space trading and combat simulator video game, raised nearly four times as much since 2012. Specifically, $76 mil. But a big chunk came from pledges made via its developer’s website instead of Kickstarter.
Looked at from a different angle, the $20 million number is perhaps even more impressive when you consider it equates to roughly 111,000 base Pebble Time sales. Available to early backers at $157, then $179, the “entry-level” wearable will cost $199 at retail starting in the summer.
Meanwhile, the premium Time Steel goes for $250 for a few more hours, upping the ante to $300 once it hits conventional store shelves in August or September. Both versions run a proprietary time-centric OS, offer up to ten days battery life, always-on screens, water resistance, iOS and Android compatibility and various activity tracking functions.