Pebble beat the major electronics companies to the punch when it came to launching the first widely available smartwatch. Thanks go primarily to Kickstarter for that achievement. With the Pebble launching last year to record sales numbers, it was only a matter of time before the team behind the Pebble would debut their next iteration of their cash cow; The Pebble Steel.
The Steel debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 and it is a thing of beauty. The watch no longer has that cheap plastic look that many detractors called as a major knock against the original Pebble. The steel based construction lends the Pebble a more durable and professional look that lends itself to a variety of social situations. The Pebble Steel showcases the lessons that can only be learned from a first product launch.
The team at Pebble owed their success and product launch to Kickstarter. The Pebble smartwatch remains one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to ever hit the platform. Certain trepidation exists pertaining to the sustainable quality of products that find life through Kickstarter. Horror stories of products that owe their product life to the platform but did not deliver on the initial promise abound. The Pebble is a shining example of one product that has sidestepped that particular issue and found continued, sustainable success in a growing marketplace. While the first iteration of the Pebble had a fair share of hiccups, the next generation Pebble looks to have all of the same features with the upgraded look.
Pebble appears poised to take the next step towards cornering the market on smartwatches. Pebble has a slew of new features, updates, and brand new app store ready for release by the end of January. The app store will offer first party apps developed by Pebble and a slew of 3rd party apps that are already available or will become available to Pebble users in the coming months. These improvements place Pebble ahead of the game and the Pebble Steel is just the first salvo in the war for the smartwatch market.
With Samsung still on the clunky first iteration of the Galaxy Gear, the Pebble Steel appears to set the tone for the growing smartwatch market. With the Pebble Steel offering prospective customers with a classier and more elegant design for a variety of occasions, and competitors still stuck on the clunky first iterations of their smartwatches, Pebble appears poised to take the top spot in the market with affordable and brilliantly designed smartwatches. Now it’s just a matter of seeing how the functionality of the piece improves with the second iteration.