Pebble is cutting 25% of its work force, because “money is pretty tight”

by: Kris CarlonMarch 23, 2016
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Pebble is downsizing its workforce by 25%, CEO Eric Migicovsky has confirmed in an interview with Tech Insider. Despite the popular success of the Pebble Steel and Pebble Time Round, Migicovsky has said that”money is pretty tight right now”. The comments come on the back of a successful venture capital round that generated $28 million dollars through a mix of debt and venture capital from unnamed private investors.

Despite the new cash injection and the $20 million Kickstarter campaign Pebble managed last year, Migicovsky said “we’ve definitely been careful this year as we plan our products.” Pebble’s future is looking increasingly towards the health and fitness sector with the company also branching out into new markets, including a move into India next month courtesy of a new Amazon partnership.

Considering Pebble's comparatively low pricing and impressive battery life, the company may well succeed in new markets where others have failed. But it's clear that all is not well in the wearable sector. With Pebble letting a quarter of its employees go, Fitbit stocks crashing recently and even a price reduction on the Apple Watch, smartwatches have not exactly panned out to be the must-have accessory many companies thought they would be. Only time will tell if Pebble's long-term vision manages to play out as planned.

What do you think of Pebble's smartwatches? Where do think wearables are going?

  • wcjeep

    I had an original Pebble. It didn’t hold up to water. Great idea. Great battery life. Wasn’t sure if I really needed it. Did not bother replacing it.

  • Reinhard Matheis

    I have a pebble time, and am fairly happy with it. Since it is water resistant, has good battery life and does pretty ok in notifications it has a good mix for me. Yes, i too wish they increase on the fitness /health section, i already use pebble health but for other sports such as cycling or running i had to install other apps….

  • John Doe

    Loved the look of the Time, but the bezel sent me running ..
    Don’t get me wrong .. almost all phones have a bezel, but this one
    is on the overly stupid large size.

    • Daniel_Wikholm

      They are that wide to deliberately hide 20% of the 148×205 color display, in order to give it the same 144×168 resolution as the old monochrome model. While I can stand the look of them, knowing they made them that size to deliberately waste 6k+ pixels instead of making the software benefit from them, just makes my inner nerd too nauseous. Should there come a Time that makes good use of all its pixels, then I’d most likely be interested.

  • MathewSullivan

    I remember running into this guy on King st. in Waterloo. He showed me an HTC prototype at the time. This was before he even had Pebble designed. Great guy!

  • staylow

    I’ve been using the Pebble Time Round for the last 6 months and wear it nearly everyday still. Great device, hope that doesn’t change trying to chase profits.

  • Lars

    Just ordered a Pebble Classic, because of battery time and it have the functions I need. Hope they pull through this 😊

  • jendrush

    Pebble watches are really nice devices, but i think there is few ways to improove overal look. Examples: smaller bezels, built in heart rate sensor, native support of google now(for me it’s only reason to consider changing Pebble to Android Wear Watch).

  • RiTCHiE

    RiP even tho its a good smart watch but the crowd that owns a smart watch is pretty limited to gadgets nerds only so come back in 10 years when t he pebble has a touchscreen and awesome battery life.

  • jay

    Oh wow what is 25% of 40 employees. It’s just normal that in the beginning there is a need of more manpower and trust me the 10 employees are starting at Apple or Google soon.

  • C Lo

    Well that is what happens when you make ugly products. They don’t sell.

  • Exare

    I had an original KickStarter Pebble and now have a Pebble Time. Both watches were incredible and stood up to some serious punishment. My original Pebble survived being chomped by a 125lbs dog, stood up to a 2 hour snorkeling trip in the Atlantic, and did everything I needed it to and more.

    I’ve had my Pebble Time since Christmas and it’s even more of a joy to use. My only issue is that the metal frame is easily scuffed, but aside from that it’s leagues better than the first and stands up to the same amount of punishment.

    I wore my Pebble 24/7 and I do so with my Time as well. These things are amazing little tools and even help me save battery on my phone. I turn off all vibrations and just let the watch tell me when stuff comes in. It’s amazing how much better it is not to have to check it all the time in case I missed something. Because if the watch I’m on top of all my notifications as soon as they happen and don’t have to turn the phone screen on to see who’s texting/calling. Sure, any smartwatch can do that… but are they as durable and classy looking as the Time? How about that battery life? I charge mine once a week.

    If I have to recommend a smartwatch, I always point people towards the Pebble.

    One last thing: just because watches have a history of high price because they’re status symbols doesn’t mean smartwatches have to cost $500+. The Time looks sharp and does everything a smartwatch is supposed to and nothing more. It doesn’t try to be a phone on your wrist, it compliments your phone and does so perfectly if you ask me.

  • krayzee8

    I was a Kickstarter supporter for the original Pebble, and that was a great watch. Towards the second year, it started the infamous screen tearing, but until that point it was a solid watch.

    I was really excited fro the Pebble Time. I also supported them and made my purchase via Kickstarter. My experience has been that the Pebble time does not have the durability that the original Pebble had. Although I have not experienced screen tearing as of yet, within the first week, there were scratches on the bezel as well as the glass. Since I work in an office as an accountant and I do not really participate in extreme hobbies, nor did I do anything to abuse the watch in that first week (in fact, I thought I was fairly careful with my new toy), it was rather disappointing.

    While wearing the Pebble Time, I went on a ride at an amusement park that splashed me with water. Note I said splashed. The watch was never submerged at any time, nor was the amount of water excessive. However, the lens began to fog that day. The battery does not have as good of a life as the original either. When I first received the watch, I could go a week between charges. I am now charging every two to three days with really no difference in usage.

    On the positive side, Pebble did a great job in providing a warranty replacement for the watch due to the moisture/fog issue. I applaud them for stepping up to the plate on that issue.

    Overall, I still love the Pebble Time as it is so useful. Once my original started the screen tearing, I went through withdrawals until I received my Pebble Time – you never realize how much you end up relying on what seems like such a trivial tool. I also really enjoy the software improvements and additional features added from the original.

    I hope that if there is a new model that they will consider the durability factor in the design and step it up a bit from the Pebble Time.