The Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and Pebble Core were introduced in May as part of a Kickstarter campaign that ended up getting over 66000 pledges and more than $12 Million in cash. However, since then, only the Pebble 2 has begun shipping to backers and the Time 2 that was slated for shipping in November is nowhere to be seen. Even the latest update by the team mentioned Time 2 units being EVT (Engineering Verification Testing units), but didn't say anything about a shipping date. Naturally, backers were pissed and they might be even more so now that there's a chance the Time 2 and the small Core will never be sent to them.
According to a new report by Bloomberg who spoke with the famous "people familiar with the matter," the rumored Fitbit buyout of Pebble is indeed happening for a sum of $40 Million dollars, but Fitbit is not the least bit interested in Pebble's hardware business. That's why the company has been sending job offers mostly to Pebble's software engineers and some interface designers, but not to the hardware teams. It's also why development on the Time 2 and Core will not continue and both models will be canceled with refunds issued to Kickstarter backers.
That's a sad end to what was once one of the most successful startups in the tech space. While I was never fond of Pebble's products or its interface (navigating it felt so 1990s), I'm disheartened by its demise. There's surely less competition now in the smartwatch space with it gone, and less incentive for any company to go beyond 1-2 days of battery life.
Bloomberg's report contains more information regarding Pebble's debts and assets, Pebble stock, and what will come of its offices and its Founder Eric Migicovsky. Be sure to check it out if you want all these details.
Pebble has just published the news on its official site: it's shutting down all orders, and all Kickstarter pre-orders that have not been fulfilled will be refunded as a chargeback to credit cards.
Alternate title: Pebble's Time 2 shine has come and gone