Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Dec 2016 10:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

"Adventuresome" is perhaps a kind way of describing Pebble's year: 2016 started in crisis. The year before, the once-profitable company dropped into the red, and hit the second half 2015 by not meeting its sales goals. Pebble would never be profitable again. In March of 2016, Migicovsky laid off a quarter of his staff of 160, just as the company moved from its cramped, loft-like Palo Alto headquarters into a gleaming, spacious new office tower in downtown Redwood City. In its optimism, the company had rented two floors; now it fit on just one.

It turned out that both Pebble - and, incidentally, Apple - had misjudged the wearables market. The idea of an iPhone on the wrist hasn't caught on. The one killer app for wrist devices, at least so far, seems to be fitness. Active people find it useful to wear something that quantifies your biometrics and tracks your runs. Apple's emphasis on fashion and Pebble's on productivity and third-party innovation were costly detours - the smartwatch market is rooted in health and fitness. "We learned late, and Apple is learning this as well," says Migicovsky. (He acknowledges that notifications are perhaps the other key function smartwatches perform.) "We did not get this in 2014 - if we had come out then as the smartwatch fitness wearable, maybe it would be a bit different."

It seems my doubts about the viability of the smartwatch market are turning out to be on point. Just as I predicted - turns out people really don't want to strap an ugly calculator on their wrists, not even when it has a shiny Apple logo.

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Old school ....
by cade on Tue 13th Dec 2016 22:23 UTC
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For reading the time, and for me at least, nothing beats a mechanical watch. Be it my automatic "Seiko 5 Sports", 1970's automatic Orient Sea King diver, dressy 1970's manual-wind Swiss Elgin, etc.

Wearing them, i.e. mechanical watches, always reminds me of the inventive potential of the human race especially when I consider my serviced 40+ year old pieces give me a time accuracy to within a maximum deviation of approximately +-10 seconds/day from that of a quartz watch; serviced once every 10 years. Having a battery/quartz device on my wrist does not give me this feeling.

Those mechanical watches with an exhibition case-back, i.e. glass window on underside of the watch, provide a view of the working movement (parts in motion) and at times provides an interesting conversation piece concerning the workings of a mechanical watch movement.

I prefer rotating (or casually flicking) my wrist to look at the time on my wrist-watch rather than accessing a phone for my time, especially during a formal dinner/meeting in a public place (e.g. restaurant) where if I were to be interrupted by a phone call then it would be from someone ringing the establishment's (e.g. restaurant's) phone since I would have left contact details for the respective establishment to an acquaintance (like in the old days).

I do believe in having "quality time" away from a mobile phone, as I remember in the decades of the 1980's, 1990's (life seemed to be, at times, "simpler" back then).

A bonus with a traditional wrist watch is that it can be a fashion/clothing accessory.

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