What's Next for Pebble
It's been an incredible few months for Pebble. Since January, we've shipped over 93,000 Pebbles to backers and pre-order customers in over 150 countries around the world. Team Pebble now has over 29 employees and we’re still hiring. I’ll also be answering questions in an AMA on reddit.com/r/pebble at 12pm PDT (3pm EDT) today.
I want to start by saying that the Pebble community is consistently spectacular. You have dazzled us with your enthusiasm for Pebble. You’ve posted photo after photo showing us how you’re using Pebble in ways we've never dreamed. You've created thousands of watchapps for Pebble and customized your Pebbles with straps, skins, docks and watchfaces to no end.
Seriously, the coolest thing in the world for me is to walk down the street only to run into someone wearing a Bill Murray watchface.
I haven't posted anything recently about some of the details on this process, so I hope you can bear with me through this long-ish post.
Our mission is to create the world’s best smartwatch and ecosystem
To accomplish this, we have set forth the following goals for the next year:
1. Create a solid foundation for 3rd party app development on Pebble
2. Manufacture and ship with the goal of getting Pebble onto as many wrists as possible
At the moment, our software team is laser focused on improving the developer experience. To date, Pebblers have downloaded more than 1 million watchapps...so this is a major priority for us. We recognize that our beta SDK is incomplete, so we're working quickly to expose more features and APIs to 3rd party developers, making it easier for watch apps to communicate, and building better development tools. Enabling and incentivizing developers to share their watchapps with the entire Pebble community is also a priority. We won’t stop until we’ve created the best platform for you to write the wearable app you’ve been dreaming of. For the greater Pebble community, this means more apps that can provide greater functionality
On the manufacturing side, we’re continuing to ramp up our production capacity to meet the massive demand for Pebble. Here’s an interesting figure that we haven’t shared before: Since our Kickstarter campaign ended over 190,000 Pebbles have been pre-ordered (including Kickstarter, that’s over 275,000 Pebbles). This is great news for users and developers. More Pebbles = more of a market and demand for Pebble watchapps. With the goal of getting Pebble onto as many wrists as possible, our manufacturing team is constantly working to improve quality and increase capacity. Every day thousands of new Pebbles are rolling off the line.
Shipping to pre-order customers
Moving forward, we will be contacting people who have placed pre-orders at getpebble.com in batches. As soon as a new batch of Pebbles is ready at the factory, we will send an email from firstname.lastname@example.org inviting you to enter your payment information. At this time, you’ll be able to change your shipping address and select the color of Pebble you prefer. We are shipping to pre-order customers in the US and around the world (except Germany - see below).
For those in the US, you may be able to buy a Pebble at your local Best Buy (subject to availability).
We know we've had some rough patches along the way from shipping starting later than we expected to color production issues, so I’d like to take a moment to address some important questions we are hearing in the community.
Kickstarter Pebble shipments
If you're a Kickstarter backer who hasn't received your Pebble yet, there are a few things that may have happened. (jump down to the bottom for a full guide)
1. If you haven’t entered shipping information, now is the time to do it! 1773 people have not entered full shipping information for us to proceed with shipping (remember to add your phone number!). To find out if this is you, please log onto account.getpebble.com using the email you used on Kickstarter, enter your shipping information and we'll ship out your Pebble(s).
2. Shipments to Germany are paused, but restarting soon. Out of 159 countries that we've shipped to, Germany has proven to be the most difficult. Half-way through shipping Black Pebbles to Germany, the customs and technology bureaus banned backers from picking up their Pebble from the post office. Unfortunately, the bureaus did not contact Pebble directly, which caused quite a bit of confusion on our side because we saw thousands of Pebbles successfully ship through to backers in Germany, even while some backers were running into issues. Eventually, we were able to work with German backers and lawyers to figure out what was going wrong. We paused all shipments to Germany, leaving roughly 2,700 Pebbles unshipped to German backers. At this time, we’re getting closer to a solution and have been in email contact with any German backers who reach out to us at email@example.com
3. White Pebbles are now shipping! Good news: the first 4,000 started shipping last week (with tracking numbers going out today and tomorrow), with the remainder working their way from factory to distribution centres now.
4. Your Pebble may be in transit. Check the guide below to see if any action is necessary.
Why is Pebble now available at Best Buy?
We decided to begin selling Black Pebbles (only) at Best Buy in the US after we had shipped all Black Kickstarter and paid pre-order Pebbles for two reasons:
1. To reduce the stress on our shipping system,
2. To build interest and support for Pebble at a major retailer.
There has been concern that we diverted massive shipments of Pebbles away from our getpebble.com pre-order customers to fill Best Buy shelves. I want to assure you that Best Buy only received a fraction of our June manufacturing production volume.
We’ve also heard reports that many Best Buy stores are out of stock. Again, this is due to heavy demand.
What’s up with iPhone/iOS support?
A major new feature on iOS will be available within 2-3 weeks. The feature has been lacking since launch: support for email notifications. At first, our testing with iOS 6 indicated that the built-in Bluetooth notification system would be able to send notifications Pebble. Unfortunately, that system only could reliably send SMS and iMessage to Pebble (ironically something we did not promise to support). We’ve finally cracked the email puzzle and the next Pebble iOS app will have full support for Gmail and IMAP email notifications.
We’ve also solved a series of bugs that caused a pop-up asking you to “Ignore or Allow communication with Pebble”. This was due to several bugs that caused iOS to prematurely shut down the Pebble app; also caused phonebook lookup to fail. These bugs have been eliminated in the latest iOS app (version 1.1) and this pop-up should occur far less.
iOS 7 looks quite cool and useful but we can’t talk about it in detail until Apple releases it publicly. In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with it and test Pebble support under iOS 7..
My Pebble malfunctioned and I’m waiting for a replacement, what’s up?
So far we’ve received reports of 2046 Pebbles that have some sort of issue in the field. We’ve replaced ~1,800 of them but 300 were caught in RMA-purgatory for the past 4-6 weeks. This was a failure on our part, which we rectified this week. Those 300 pending replacements have now been released for shipping and we’ve nailed down the issue so it will not happen again.
Improvements to Pebble Support
We know this has been a pain point in the Pebble experience and we’ve been staffing up and working to improve response times. We’ve made a ton of progress over the past couple months, but we have not yet reached our goal of providing a response to every inquiry within 24 hours. Our support team, while extraordinarily energetic, has been overwhelmed fairly often causing 3-7 day delays in email communication. Generally these delays occur right after updates (like this one...) and mostly backed up due to massive numbers of questions related to shipping. We’re scaling our team up constantly and will continue to work toward a 24 hours turnaround time.
As a team, we read and listen to almost everything related to Pebble. If things are quiet on a certain front, it's not that we're ignoring it, but as a small team, it takes time to put processes and plans into place that will really satisfy the wants/needs our community has.
Where can I get a replacement charging cable?
Great news! You can now buy a replacement charge cable directly from Pebble for $10 USD including free worldwide shipping at http://getpebble.com/pages/replacement-cable
Guide to getting your Pebble.
Haven’t received your Pebble? Here’s what you can do:
If you are…
- Waiting for an Arctic White Pebble or,
- Located in Germany or,
- You placed a preorder, but have not yet submitted payment (i.e. if you placed a pre-order on getpebble.com but never entered your credit card information).
Please wait just a little longer! White Pebbles are now shipping, we are close to resolving import conflicts in Germany and we are shipping pre-orders as fast as we can! We will be in contact with you shortly.
If you are…
- Waiting for a Jet Black, Cherry Red, Orange or Grey Pebble and
- You are a Kickstarter Backer or,
- You placed a preorder and submitted payment via credit card
1. Log into your account at account.getpebble.com using the email you used on Kickstarter or to preorder.
2. If you have not previously entered your shipping information, you will be prompted to add it now. Please note that all required fields must be entered to complete this step, including phone number which we require for shipping documentation. This will allow us to initiate the shipping process for you.
3. If you did previously enter your shipping address, please check the order status in the right column.
4. If your order is in Stage 2 “Your Pebble is Ready”, please email us with the subject line ‘KS Still Waiting S2’ noting the email address from your Pebble account and your stage 2 order status.*
5. If your order is in Stage 3 “Processing Shipment” and has been at this stage for 3 weeks or more, please email us with the subject line ‘KS Still Waiting S3’ noting the email address from your Pebble account and your stage 3 order status.*
6. If your orders is in Stage 4 “Shipment Sent”, you should see shipment details, including tracking number, in the Shipments section just below Order Status. Please track your shipment with the carrier (USPS.com in the US or SingPost.com outside of the US) to find shipping status.
*If you have already emailed us with this subject line, no need to send again.
Kickstarter backers, pre-order customers and the general Pebble community at large: once again a massive thank-you for your support. Looking forward to lots more Pebblers joining our community in the near future.
Oh and I’ll be answering any further questions on reddit.com/r/pebble at 12pm PDT (3pm EDT) today.
Eric + Team Pebble