At first glance, one might think that the Apple Watch is actually going to hurt competitors. That’s not exactly true, at least not leading up to the launch of the new Pebble Time. According to a recent report from TechCrunch, the recent Apple press conference that revealed, among other things, the price of the Apple Watch, actually increased interest in the Pebble Time.
TechCrunch said that, leading into last Monday’s Apple event, the Pebble Time was receiving about $6,000 per hour in funding. Then, on Monday, that number jumped to $10,000 an hour. The day after Apple’s presentation, which revealed that the Apple Watch will have about 18 hours of battery life and will cost anywhere from $349 to $17,000, the Pebble Time was receiving $16,000 per hour. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky apparently told one investor that Kickstarter signups doubled after the Apple Watch announcement.
It suggests that, perhaps, there are plenty of consumers interested in wearables who aren’t willing to drop the cash that Apple is asking. Or, perhaps, that they value battery life. The Pebble Time promises up to a week of usage, far more than what the Apple Watch offers. The real question, however, is whether the Pebble Time can continue to compete with the Apple Watch following the launch of Apple’s wearable next month. Pebble isn’t worried. “When the biggest company in the world enters your market, that’s the kind of validation you can only dream of,” Migicovsky told TechCrunch. “Ultimately the more awareness for smartwatches, and the more choice for consumers, the better for everyone. 2015 is going to be an extraordinarily exciting year.”
The Pebble Time is set to ship in May, when we’ll finally have a chance to see how the two smartwatches stack up.