Pebble, which is one of the well-known smartwatch brands, is officially dead. Today in a blog post on Kickstarter, the company announced that Fitbit is taking over its “key Pebble assets” and Pebble will “no longer be operating as an independent company.”
This news comes perfectly in line with a report published by Bloomberg that stated the sell-out of Pebble's assets. It is an after-effect of Pebble's dying funds and rising debts. Sadly, this acquisition is bad news for Pebble smartwatch owners as they are being left in the ruins. The customers are stripped off all the warranties and services that the brand promised with its products. In simpler terms, the customers are on their own now.
The company wrote in its blog post,“One-to-one Pebble support is no longer available” and “any Pebble currently out in the wild is no longer covered by or eligible for warranty exchange.”
The above-quoted lines mean that regardless of the time frame when the customer bought the Pebble product, if the device malfunctions then nothing can be done about it. You can very well bid goodbye to the wearable as there won't be any help from the manufacturer. All the warranty statements could be considered void from now on. Despite Fitbit's acquisition, Pebble customers will not get any software support or updates whatsoever. Pebble's demise could be taken as the extreme blow for the already crumbling smartwatch market and also for projects that count on crowdfunding.
For the customers who purchased the Pebble watch from e-retailers such as Amazon, they can still return it for store credit. Even the ones who took part in Pebble's project on Kickstarter, all the orders are cancelled, and they won't get any product. However, they sure will get back their money.
We can call it a sad state of affairs as Pebble took the money from people on Kickstarter and was whiling around for the last 6-7 months. What's worse is that the company chose to ignore all the rumours and wrongfully kept getting funds from customers on Kickstarter. In one of its sly moves, Pebble deliberately postponed the shipping dates for its Time 2, Core, and Time Round smartwatches to January 2017 even though it's original shipping date was scheduled for November 2016.
We can easily tag it under one of the major screw-ups for crowd-funded projects. Such events could pose as cautionary examples for future products that would step up for crowdfunding. Pebble was one of the best-known projects that were supported by fans rather than big-wig investors. If Pebble, which was one of Kickstarter’s most successful projects can come crashing down miserably the why would customers put their faith in any other small-scale campaigns?