Pebble watch will miss production target deadline

The Pebble smart watch project that broke Kickstarter records by raising $10 million has announced it will be delivering its product later than originally expected.

Originally the team had planned to ship the Pebbles in early September, but now they won’t be able to meet that mark, writes founder Eric Migicovsky in an update on Kickstarter. It appears Pebble is a victim of its own success in this case. The team, originally based in Waterloo, Ont., had planned to produce 1,000 of the smart watches before its Kickstarter success. But now it must meet the needs of 68,929 customers who made a pledge online.

“We’re sticking pretty closely to an aggressive timetable we put together at the end of May,” Migicovsky writes. “Our current schedule has us on track to go from manufacturing zero to 15,000 Pebbles per week as soon as possible.”

Eric Migicovsky (centre) checking on Pebble’s components.

The team didn’t give a firm date on when it would start shipping the product.

Jeanne Pi of AppsBlogger recently scoured Kickstarter statistics to find that only one in four of projects that meet fundraising goals end up being delivered on time. Three out of four projects ship their orders within eight months of their deadline. The larger the project, the more likely it is to be delayed, Pi found.

Pebble will be manufacturing its product with a factory that has a R&D facility in Taipei and assembly plants in China. Its currently in a phase called “Engineering Verification” that saw the factory produce samples of the finished product, and now the Pebble team will evaluate each component and tweak the design as necessary before the “tooling” phase, when the factory creates hardened steel tools for injection moulding, Migicovsky writes.

Pebble tried to take the sting out of its late-to-ship announcement by also unveiling a new, orange colour option for the watch. While one commenter on the Kickstarter page approved of the new design, others were concerned about the shipping dates.

“I ordered one of these for my GF’s Father for his birthday. Just hope its not too late after September,” comments Colin Richardson.

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