As previously rumored, Best Buy has begun selling the Pebble smartwatch. The wearable device can be ordered through Best Buy’s website today, while brick-and-mortar stores will offer it through an “exclusive retail launch partnership” that begins on July 7. It’ll only be available in black to start, with a red version arriving in August. It’s priced at $150. Previously, the watch was only offered through Pebble’s own website.
For the uninitiated, the Pebble has an e-paper display and can sync with your Android or iOS smartphone through Bluetooth. Once it’s paired, it can display text messages or emails, control music, see incoming phone calls, track fitness stats, and perform various other tasks through applications. The device first made waves through its Kickstarter campaign, where it went on to raise more than $10 million and become the most highly-funded product in the site’s history.
It’s also seen as a leader of a trend that could heavily pick up by year’s end. Major tech companies from Apple to Google to Samsung are expected to introduce their own smartwatches in the near future, while Sony just recently unveiled its latest iteration of the wearable tech. Yesterday, multiple reports noted that Apple had filed an “iWatch” trademark in Japan.
Gaining the support of a major retailer like Best Buy could be a major step towards the Pebble’s success, but it also comes at a time where Pebble has not fulfilled the entirety of its shipments to Kickstarter backers. The Ouya game console, a similar crowdfunding success, recently faced backlash for the same issue, so Pebble may have to deal with backer vitriol as well.