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Pebble Lays Off 25% of Its Staff, Smartwatch Bubble Set To Burst? ( 207

tripleevenfall writes: Pebble is laying off 25% of its employees -- that's 40 pink slips -- taking it down to just 80 people. It seems indicative of the smartwatch market's terrible state. Previously the darling of the crowdfunding fraternity -- it raised over $30 million on Kickstarter -- Pebble is finding it hard to keep the plates spinning in 2016.
The layoffs were confirmed by Pebble's CEO Eric Migicovsky, who implied that venture capitalists are now less keen on funding the smartwatch category.
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Pebble Lays Off 25% of Its Staff, Smartwatch Bubble Set To Burst?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:35AM (#51774577)

    I'm not sure how a product that hasn't received widespread adoption and hasn't been promoted that much could be considered a bubble...

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:54AM (#51774635) Journal
      It wasn't a very big bubble; but the hype-to-substance ratio was arguably large enough to qualify as a small one. It didn't survive contact with reality for long; but there was a brief period of delusional hope among the manufacturers and some of the talking heads that 'smartwatch' was going to be the must-have accessory and temporary reprieve from the pressure on profits caused by the fact that everyone who wants a smartphone and a tablet either already has one or is poor enough that their desire for one isn't too helpful.

      Definitely not at the level of "zOMG 3D TV! It will surely cause everyone to re-buy their television!"; but same basic hopeful delusion that a new gimmick could save them from an increasingly saturated and commodified market.
      • Smartwatches are in between handheld and augmented reality glasses. There is going to be a very significant rise in that, and that niche isn't going to go away even after AR becomes mainstream because walking around with glasses on is not a desirable in the way that a fashion accessory is. A watch is something that you *want* to wear. My Smartwatch has lowered my stress level immensely because I can finally know at a glance if somethings needs my attention, and I can reply super quickly. I love my Pebble. I
        • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @04:10AM (#51774655)

          No, that's the problem- it isn't. The number of people who want to wear a watch is incredibly small. You have a small number who have to due to job (nurses, for example)- but they don't need a smartwatch, they just need a hands free second hand. You have a small set who wear it as a fashion statement, but they want metals and gems and fancy that will last a long time, not an electronic screen that will last 2 years.

          The number of people who actually want a smartwatch is ridiculously small- single digit percents of the population, possibly less. Everyone else is ok taking their phone out of their pocket.

          • I can see them being useful.

            • They can tell time like a watch. Timekeeping needs to be independent of a phone, syncing with the phone when in range is fine but I don't want to lose my watch as a timepiece just because I'm out of Bluetooth range of my phone at the moment. Alarms would also be nice, as would stopwatch and countdown timer functions, and all that's easy to do once you've got the basic electronics there.
            • Notifications. It doesn't need sound, a wristwatch has much better skin contact so vibration'l
            • by kuzb ( 724081 )

              >syncing with the phone when in range is fine but I don't want to lose my watch as a timepiece just because I'm out of Bluetooth range of my phone at the moment

              Android wear supports syncing with your phone over wifi. In addition, android wear devices will still display the date and time even when out of range of the phone and not connected to anything. It would be nice if people would at least learn the basics of things before they started talking about them.

            • Er... what?

              I can't speak for others, but 90% of the functionality of my smart watch still works with my phone off or out of range. Timepiece, timer, stopwatch, alarm, security token... All that still works.

              When the phone goes away, it stops being a smartwatch and becomes a regular watch. Which is exactly what I would expect it to do.

          • The number of people who want to wear a watch is extremely high. And those people like to switch watches often. It's a fashion product. No, the problem for the smartwatch industry is not that people buy few watches. The problem is that most people buy many watches in the $20-$150 range.

            A smartwatch maker will have to create a $149 smartwatch that is fashionable by current trends and works great with both Android and iOS, then make a profit before the year is up and then start over again with a new fashion d

          • I'd say the exception is watches designed with fitness and health related features in mind. That actually makes sense to me, and those devices seem to be doing reasonably well. For everyone else, if it's a fashion accessory that can also be used for a few practical things, then that's a bonus, but I'd agree it's certainly a much smaller percentage of people that really want that.

          • I think that in the long run the killer app for the smart phone is health and maybe biometrics.
            it's a fledgling thing now but in the next 5 years health monitoring capabilities are going to explode. A lot of that will be clinical and it will take some time to figure out how to use the data. But the watch is an unprecedented thing. Specifically when you go to the ICU they hook you up to the cardiac and blood pressure and blood oxygen monitors. These things take measurements all day long on you the sick p

            • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

              Yeah, neither of those things will happen.

              Watch as a passkey for IOT? I think IOT is way overhyped, but ignoring that- why would you need to add the watch when you already have the phone? Nobody actually has an issue pulling their phone from their pocket.

              As for biometrics- there will be a health niche, but it isn't that big. Most people aren't geing to fettishize their health in that way, nor would it be mentally healthy to. You'll see a market for athletes, and a market for the very sick. But they w

        • My glasses are Ray-Bans. That being said, I don't wear them to make a fashion statement. I wear them so I can see.

          Please don't project your OCD or your desire to make a fashion statement on me. Thanks.

    • I'm not sure how a product that hasn't received widespread adoption and hasn't been promoted that much could be considered a bubble...

      I was about to say the same thing, words mean things - and a fad isn't a bubble. Even a small one.
      That's one reason I hate the culture of hype/clickbait journalism, it's dumbing us down and reducing our vocabulary. That's doubleplusungood.

    • Well, at one point there were up to 90 wearers of smart watches world wide, I would call that a bubble...

  • by voights ( 919055 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:35AM (#51774581)
    Wouldn't that necessarily take it down to 120 people from 160?
    • Be nice. The writer is probably in 3rd grade. I think my son had that phrased as a homework question a couple months ago:

      Pebble plans to lay off 40 people, bringing down it's total employee count to 80. What percentage of the company will be laid off?

    • Now you understand why they're not doing well.
    • Uh, no! This is Web 2.0 maths! So a reduction from 120 to 80 is only a 25% cut, and we increased profitability by moving our earnings per share from -$1.35 to -$1.50! Don't worry, housing prices are declining as well since that Bay area house that last year cost $1.2 million is down to $1.45 million this year. See? Maths is easy when it's Web 2.0 maths!
  • Math? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Y2K is bogus ( 7647 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:35AM (#51774583)


    So they are laying off 33.33% of their staff, not 25%.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:49AM (#51774613) Journal
    I would certainly expect Pebble to be less insulated from any downturn/loss of confidence than the internal teams doing 'smartwatch' at Apple, Google, or any of the Android OEMs, since they neither have a large host organism to quietly hide losses in, nor any claims to some sort of 'product synergy' nonsense; but my impression(if anyone has actual data, either for or against this, I'd be interested to know) was that Pebble had been atypically successful given the rather narrow appeal of the 'smartwatch' concept with their size and battery life friendly keep-it-simple-stupid design and relatively broad compatibility.

    Is my impression wrong; and Pebble is actually starting to suffer as competing products with tighter 'ecosystem' tie-ins have gotten vaguely more competent and less in need of being nearly cellphone sized to get even a day's battery life? Is my impression correct; but either Pebble or their backers, or both, can't really think of too many additional incremental improvements to the KISS-based design that would be worth the cost of keeping the extra staff? Was the market simply so tiny that the few people who wanted one are already saturated and everybody is having issues moving product?
    • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @04:17AM (#51774667)

      When it comes to battery life, NOTHING on the market can beat Pebble's first generation Pebble Watch and Pebble Watch Steel. Both of them are actually pretty light, and the Steel is sort of a watch you can wear to a dinner. Both can go a week on a full charge. Even Pebble's own second generation Time and Time Steel run time took a hit when they introduced the color screen.

      While I love my Pebble Steel, I do fear Pebble will eventually go down the way of Palm Inc, Walkman, Blueberry and others.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bloodhawk ( 813939 )
        I will stick by my original statements when they released this crop of smart watches. Until the battery life is measured in months (preferably at least 6) then you can keep em. A watch isn't even needed by most people nowadays and those that actually benefit from a smartwatch are an even smaller audience.
        • Well, I don't believe most people apply this type of standard. More than a week of run time is plenty for most people. We charge our smartphones and many other devices every day, but you can't connect a watch to a charger at the same time?

          Anyways, the smartwatch does provide pretty decent utility. Yes, the phone does everything you need, but you need to reach out for it into your pocket. Instead of pulling the smartphone every time it beeps, you can glance first at the smartwatch to see what's up. Once you

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
            This isn't a strong opinion (don't care either way about these watches) but it seems to me that a watch I'm regularly taking off is a watching I'm going to forget/not bother to put back on again.
          • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @06:42AM (#51774897)

            I take my watch off to go through security at the airport and when I have sex. I'm married and I seldom travel.

            In my opinion, battery life should be measured against quartz watches -- years. Or compared to my self-winding Tag or my Seiko solar quartz -- never, bounded by my lifetime.

            Until then I don't see the utility. I've learned to ignore my smartphone -- I have all but the narrowest list of VIPs set to provide any notifications and keep it muted and on vibrate all the time, so I'm not interested in glancing at my watch to find out what the latest distraction is.

            Plus, cost versus obsolescence? My Tag was an expensive gift, but it will also last my lifetime and never stop working because battery or vendor or software. Same with my Seiko. Any "smart watch" will be obsolete in a couple of years, which seems like a lot to spend for something you just know will be unsupported and unusable.

            • I suspect that this would have to be balanced against the energy costs of higher bluetooth data rates; but you might actually be able to get fairly impressive lifespan/longevity out of a 'smartwatch' by making it dumber.

              Consider the humble serial terminal: your odds of finding genuine RS-232 voltages have fallen dramatically; but with the appropriate level converter all sorts of even new gear can talk to basically anything that postdates the old 60ma and 20ma loop interfaces. You want to dial in to the s
            • by trawg ( 308495 )

              In my opinion, battery life should be measured against quartz watches -- years. Or compared to my self-winding Tag or my Seiko solar quartz -- never, bounded by my lifetime.

              The problem with this comparison is that you can do exactly one thing with your quartz watch - check the time (or maybe two, if it has the date).

              The utility of a smartwatch is significantly more - thus you will use it more. Comparing it to a phone, people use their phone way more now than they did when all it did was just make calls.

              So (while I certainly want month long battery times in my watch) I do think it's a little unfair to compare them against plain ole regular watches which have a much smaller num

            • You are quick to see the faults of the smartwatch, and yet you keep ignoring the real advantages it brings to the table.

              Battery life of one week should be adequate for most people, because most people who wear a watch tend to take it off in the shower or in their sleep (or doing dishes, whatever). Connecting the watch to the charging cable is not as much of trouble as you make it.

              On the other hand, one killer feature of the smartwatch is that the time is network synced, so you don't ever need to readjust or

        • by raynet ( 51803 )

          I have a chinese smart watch that runs on CR3032 battery for couple months which is quite ok. Only feature it is missing is a heart rate monitor.

      • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @06:17AM (#51774837)

        Pebble is this generation's Palm. A great product which did what it did well.

        Destroyed by inferior products from bigger companies with color screens and more integration.

        • Man, Now I have to dig out my Visor Edge and see if the battery is still any good... Palm's sync software was absolutely atrocious(the 'conduits' concept was elegant; but the software itself was utter garbage); but it's amazing how good the experience was on practically no computing power at all.
          • Palm's sync software was absolutely atrocious(the 'conduits' concept was elegant; but the software itself was utter garbage); but it's amazing how good the experience was on practically no computing power at all.

            What's amazing is how long we were willing to wait for things to happen back then. Even a screen refresh took a measurable amount of time on a Palm device.

        • Destroyed by inferior products from bigger companies with color screens and more integration.

          The competition is inferior, but also more featureful and better supported? You have an interesting idea of "superior".

          I have an Apple Watch. It's not world-changing, but I really like it. I enjoy using it. I'll buy an improved model if/when it comes out. Before I bought it, I looked at all the options, including Pebble (which a trusted friend recommended very highly). I made my decision because it seemed very likely that Apple Watch would have orders of magnitude more apps written for it, and that it'd be

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        My wife likes her round a lot as well. I think Pebble is actually a good product but it is suffering from the Apple watch effect.

      • When it comes to battery life, NOTHING on the market can beat Pebble's first generation Pebble Watch and Pebble Watch Steel. Even Pebble's own second generation Time and Time Steel run time took a hit when they introduced the color screen.

        No, it really didn't. The second generation beats it pretty handily. My Pebble Time Steel lasts 10 days on a charge.

        You're probably using a watchface that updates seconds. Those faces killed battery life on the first generation too. Pick something that doesn't display every second, and just displays the minutes, and you get the improved battery life they claim in their marketing.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Was the market simply so tiny that the few people who wanted one are already saturated and everybody is having issues moving product?

      I think maybe yes, because it's still so battery-unfriendly compared to regular watches. I'm wondering why nobody's done a simple small digital watch strip top or bottom just to say HH:MM with the rest as tap-to-activate/short alarms or notifications. Because I'm rather curious to know how long they'd last without the overhead of the screen...

      • I'm sure that they could do better; but (from the rough numbers I've been able to dig up) it looks like a bluetooth low energy chip just sleeping and waiting for something to happen draws at least as much power as the timekeeping mechanism in your basic cheap-and-practically-immortal quartz oscillator watch. Actually transferring some data now and again will cost you extra.

        What I don't know is how much extra a full bitmapped monochrome LCD costs you, in energy, vs. the fixed-function multisegment ones th
    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      The Pebble Time wasn't as well received as the original Pebble or the Pebble Steel. Its design is fairly unremarkable and it has a huge bezel. It doesn't help that they muddied the waters by making the Pebble Time Steel almost identical to the regular Pebble Time, and then releasing the Pebble Time Round shortly after, which was plagued by a lack of apps/watchfaces and poor battery life.

      Then you have a few other issues like irregularly spotty Bluetooth, features disappearing (the original Pebble app was m
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @04:18AM (#51774671) Homepage Journal

    ...Is a pretty strong sign that there's zero interest in digital wearables.
    It's been pretty definitively proven that you can't reliably use a smartphone (or smart-device) with a screen smaller than 480 x 360 and about 2.4" (the screen on the most popular Blackberry, the "Curve" in the 2007-2010 era).
    Everyone who absolutely needed a smart watch bought one with the initial roll out of the Pebbl and iWatch. People buying it now are simply either just now able to afford one, or...?
    Even Apple themselves have said that 4" is about the ideal size for a portable smart device screen. Given that 27-45mm is the ideal size for a watch face, that's way, WAY too small to do what people think it can do.
    I can see smart bracelets monitoring heartbeat and miles walked, but it's been pretty conclusively proven that average citizens will never wear a screen of any significant usefulness on their arm.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @05:58AM (#51774813) Journal
      I've been playing with an Apple Watch for the past few weeks (doing an app development project at the moment), and I find it to be fairly useful, though it certainly is no game-changer. It is not meant to be a replacement smart device, it is meant to be a companion to one. That means you don't need a full screen and full functionality, just something that can display notifications and basic information. You're not going to be reading the news on that thing, but it'll vibrate and pop up the headline if there's a breaking story, for example. Personally I found it useful for navigating a strange city (on foot); you can access Apple Maps on the watch and have it display directions. Way easier han walking around holding your phone, and the small screen provides enough space for usable directions.

      What I really like about the watch is the vibrate function. I leave my phone on silent most of the time, and when it is in my pocket or lying around the house somewhere I often miss calls. But the watch' vibration is impossible to miss.

      But the fact that the watch is a companion also means that its appeal will probably be very limited. Make your smart watch too expensive and most people will not want to buy one to gain a handful of mildly convenient but nonessential features. Make it too cheap and it'll look horrible as an accessory. Pebble make a good effort with their watches, but as watches go they still don't look very good. If I really wanted a smart watch, I'd pay 4 figures for one that looks really good, I mean classical watch good. Something in titanium or gold. But not if the innards will be obsolete in a few years. Unless manufacturers can find ways to make the electronics swappable so people can keep the case, these watches will be too ugly or expensive to find widespread use.
      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        That is the problem, NONE of the makers want an upgradable system. all smartwatches could easily be slightly thicker and have the "smart" part an upgradable module you release and remove, then drop in the new one. But that is not as profitable as forcing people to buy a new watch every 2 years.

        • You could say this about phones, too, but it would be just as invalid. The real problem with upgradability is that it imposes a new set of constraints on the future design. The display and drive circuitry (and the power draw) are fixed, as is the working envelope of the device. The means you have a device which will be heavier, thicker, and less efficient than something which comes of the line. You also have to design in end-user replaceable parts, which means more thickness, weight and complexity. And if y

          • Unlike my alarm clock on my nightstand, which I've had for 30 years and still functions perfectly without a single upgrade since I took it out of the box.

            If that's one of those with the big red digits and a iron-core transformer: it probably uses $5 per year in electricity. [ref] [] Economy should also be accounted for in the "Works perfectly" argument.

            • It very well might. Still, as far as reliability goes, it pretty much beats anything I have. At a penny a day, give or take, that's a fair trade for longevity and durability. And at 4W (assuming isn't drawing more than its rated current), it's "Wasting" no more than the power supply to the docking station on my desk *when it's off*.

      • Personally I found it useful for navigating a strange city (on foot); you can access Apple Maps on the watch and have it display directions.

        Ooh, you're missing out on my favorite feature! Turn-by-turn directions on Maps gives you a different set of vibrations for "turn left", "turn right", and "continue forward". You can put your phone away, pull your cuffs down over your watch, and confidently stroll through a new neighborhood like you've lived there for years. Discovering that was my biggest "wow, we're actually living in the future" moment.

    • Hmmm... Most were already IN the market prior to Apple. Motorola, Samsung, Pebble, Sony, LG, Microsoft... Apple was kind of the last one to the market.
  • Outselling both Android wear/Samsung/LG/HTC/Apple almost 2 to one COMBINED.

    • Outselling both Android wear/Samsung/LG/HTC/Apple almost 2 to one COMBINED.

      That's a new one. I've heard people claiming that Samsung made 100 times more profit than Apple (because some idiot didn't notice one number was Korean won and the other number was US dollars). This time it seems you are confusing Pebble's revenue in dollars with the others' unit sales.

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @09:59AM (#51775641) Journal

      Really? [Citation needed]

      Here's my citation to the contrary: []

      If Apple sold >50% of the smart watches that shifted in 2015, how is Pebble outselling that combined with all the Android Wear 2:1? Are you counting total sales since the absolute first unit left the factory? Even that doesn't pass the sniff test.

  • But I hate wearing a wristwatch. Really and truly hate it. Plastic bands make me rash up, leather ones rot rapidly (I am sweaty) and metal ones pull out my hair. One of the best things about cellphones is going back to pocketwatches. I'm not looking to put shit on my wrist again.

    • I am generally the same way. Although with me, it is metal that makes me rash up.

      It is also very irritating to have something strapped to my wrist. I feel like a cat does when your try to put booties on their paws.

    • I used to hate metal bracelets on wrist watches until I got a good watch. There's something about how it's made where I don't have this problem now, where it was a constant irritant on every previous metal-bracelet watch I had.

      As with all things, your mileage may vary.

      • I used to hate metal bracelets on wrist watches until I got a good watch.

        Well, given what a "good watch" seems to cost, I'm going to go on hating metal bracelets. It's not worth it to me when frankly, just having something on my wrist is annoying. I used to wear watches when I was a kid, when I had nowhere to be...

    • Personally I feel naked WITHOUT a watch on my wrist, I've worn a watch of one sort or another since I was..7 nearly without break.
            I've worn a connected smartwatch for 4.5 years now and wouldn't go back to the unconneced smartwatches I wore before.
            My current is a pebble time I bought on sale.

    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      I don't have the problem with plastic that you do but metal bands did pull my hair out. The apple segmented band does not. I think because there is so little space between the links. It's crazy expensive but very very nice. I expect other traditionally high end watches and bands are similar but I never considered buying a high end traditional watch.

  • There was a bubble? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 )

    Funny, I thought the whole smartwatch concept was always a ridiculously overpriced gadget in which the practicalities of legibility, usability, and value were entirely overshadowed by the opportunity to flaunt another piece of ridiculous technological e-peen. Or would that be iPeen?

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @09:51AM (#51775583) Journal

    Let me get this right:
    1. Company A makes gadget that is an answer to a question nobody asked.
    2. Company A gets press for selling said gadget to early adopters who buy it just to have it, but it still doesn't solve a problem that anyone has.
    3. Massive consumer electronics companies (Samsung, Apple, LG, Motorola) get in on the action, creating massive competition for a small market, growing it marginally and creating new features that make the product marginally more useful.
    4. Company A now has a product that is less featured, and is not as quick to replace with a more full featured product due to resource constraints, and sales plummet.
    5. Company A is forced to lay people off due to the inevitable economics of their situation.
    6. "The smartwatch bubble set to burst" doom and gloom story.

    Slashdot editors are fucking amazing.

  • Most of us wear a watch anyway, so the concept of a smartwatch is a good idea. The problem with smartwatches and startups like Pebble is that the technology is too new and the benefit is too small. Everyone has a smartphone and a watch. Smartphones took off quickly because it was like moving from a horse and buggy to an automobile. A smartwatch is like moving from a desktop computer to a portable. The 'Compaq' was the first reasonable portable, and it was essentially a desktop monster with a keyboard f

  • Why would you by a pebble when you can by a Android watch or Apple watch that integrates perfectly with your phone? I got a Asus Zenwatch 2 and it works perfectly with my Nexus 6P phone, and it was only $150.
    • by Jhon ( 241832 )

      I have a pebble. It works perfectly with my iphone 5. It cost me $100 (free, actually -- it was a gift) and I charge it once a week (friday night before I go to bed. If I forget, I get a 20% battery warning around sunday or monday). For those counting, that's about 13-14 days if I let it go that long (I don't use a watch-face that shows second hand).

      It does everything I 'need' a smart watch to do:

      o notifications (email, call, text -- all can be filtered to be from specific accounts or specific senders)

  • Maybe the ones they laid off were the ones as bad at math as triplevenfall. 80 employees remaining and 40 pink slips means they had 120 employees to start with. 25% of that is 30 and 40 out of 120 is 33%.

  • ... how the hell is 40 25 percent of 120?

    with maths like that...

  • Had a first gen one, just replaced it with a Steel last year.

    When I am out biking, I use Runkeeper to display time/speed/distance on my wrist. No need to fumble with a phone. When I am out golfing, I use Freecaddie to show me distance to the green - phone stays in my pocket. When I am driving, I can see incoming texts without risking a hefty ticket looking at a "handheld device". I can see who is calling anytime and decide if it worth taking the phone out of my pocket or not. I can likewise control the

    • I've had a pebble since their initial kickstarter. It was a fantastic idea, and a great product.

      I also had a Garmin GPS watch that I'd wear while running. It was too big to wear as a daily watch, and it couldn't connect to my phone. Now Garmin has watches that do the GPS thing and the smartwatch thing, and aren't much larger than a Pebble. I'm really happy Pebble got the smartwatch ball rolling, but thanks to my new Garmin GPS/smart watch, I haven't worn my Pebble in months.

      I think this is frequently the wa

  • I'd say this is yet another case of tech that was not quite good enough to have legs outside the early adopter segment. That's a pretty huge gulf. I once supported a team that went on a two and a half year research project in the Tanzanian bush. That happened to be just around the iPhone came out, so I'd equipped them with Compaq iPaqs. When they returned they were agog at how crude their gear seemed next to what ordinary folks were using.

    There's good and bad things about the pebble. Mostly good, but not qu

  • Clocks are everywhere - the lower left corner of my computer, every single room at the office, the radio in my cars, my ever present smart phone, in my GPS when I'm trecking back woods - why on earth would I wear a watch?
    The allure of a wrist worn multi-function pseudo-smart device is somewhat appealing, till the reality of virtually useless battery life and 50 year old eyes stomp out practicality.
  • It can only be a "bubble" if there is/was a lot of activity surrounding the device...where there was not.

    The whole smartwatch idea was a waste of expensive gadget with very limited functionality, most of which was simply duplicating functionality already present in another device you already owned (and in fact, had to own). It was like buying a motor-scooter to drive 100ft to the car you already have.

    For all intents and purposes they're little more than a severely crippled phone that costs almost

  • by thevirtualcat ( 1071504 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @12:08PM (#51776457)

    Apparently, people don't replace their watches every 12-24 months like they do with phones.

    Who would have thought?

    • by Jhon ( 241832 )

      That is one of the most insightful comments in this thread.

      I was concerned about that for longevity of the industry.

  • They could have been told to train their replacements.

  • "Bubble" would imply there were a large number of units sold, then sales across the industry suddenly declined.

    Instead we see more and more smart watches being sold quarter after quarter - but Pebble is still seeing a decline in sales. That's not a bubble, that's Pebble losing market share.

    I have the newer Pebble color model, and an Apple Watch. I tried using both for a week at a time but the AppleWatch is just way more usable and useful, even needing to charge most nights. It's no mystery that anyone th

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