Pebble, the Kickstarter darling responsible for helping spark the still-nascent wearables scene, has confirmed to techradar that it has laid off 40 of its employees, a nearly 25% reduction in total staffing.
Despite a wildly successful series of crowd-funded projects, (first, with the original Pebble and most recently, the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Round) Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky stated that “money is pretty tight these days” in an earlier interview with Tech Insider.
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Pebble’s latest products might not be selling as well as it might have hoped. But there might be more to it than that. The broader wearables category, which Pebble played a huge role in igniting a fire beneath, is in the midst of a re-evaluation phase.
As TI mentioned, Pebble isn’t the only company re-evaluating its current plan in order to move forward. Fitbit has recently branched out into quasi-smartwatch territory with the Fitbit Blaze, a move that could have been inspired by its dwindling stock performance.
Apple’s recent $50 price cut on the Apple Watch could also be a sign that the company’s debut wearable isn’t making quite as big a splash as was expected.
Migicovsky stated that his company is “…in this for the long haul. We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years, and this is setting us up for success.”
Our thoughts are with those affected.
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