After a year in production, countless Kickstarter updates and over $US10 million in pre-orders, the Pebble smart watch finally starts shipping today. Don't rejoice just yet, however. You'll still be waiting for your Pebble a little longer.
CEO and inventor of Pebble, Eric Migicovsky, got up at CES for his first ever press conference and told the world that January 23 would be the day that Pebble would finally meet the world. Pebbles would begin shipping out in the order that Kickstarter members backed the device, with tracking numbers finally starting to appear in people's inboxes all over the world from today.
Images: Adam Hallett
The bad news, however, is that despite the mass production, the 12-month headstart, countless delays and $US10 million in Kickstarter funding, the process to get Pebble into the hands of eager gadget fiends will be a slow one.
Colours are being manufactured one at a time with the most popular -- like Black -- being built first so those with less popular colours will likely wait longer. 800-1000 Pebbles are now being made per day, which is less than half of the facility's full production capability of 2400 per day (which it's trying to hit). Once completed, devices are being shipped from the manufacturer in Hong Kong to the US distribution centre once to twice per week and there's a lag time of about a week between a Pebble being finished and it ending up in the distribution centre ready to ship. As a result, there are currently less than 500 Pebbles ready to ship to backers:
We weren't able to get as many units to our fulfillment centre as we expected (held up by documentation at the airport). Less than 500 units are going out today, with more expected to ship soon. We accidentally more Address Confirmations emails than available Pebbles. So some people who received address confirmation emails will not get a tracking number for a few days until their Pebble ships out.
To keep the whole process transparent, Pebble has made a little tracking counter for itself at ispebbleshipping.com:
Maybe one day we'll get our Pebbles.