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Almost a half-year after it was initially expected, the most successful Kickstarter project so far, the Pebble Smart Watch, is finally shipping out to its many thousands of backers, at least according to an update posted today by the company on Kickstarter.
Not all the Pebbles owed to backers are ready. Pebble says it will begin shipping to its earliest backers first (only the first few hundred are going out today) and then continue working its way through the backlog. To monitor progress and figure out where the heck your Pebble is in line, there's an official tongue-in-cheek website at www.ispebbleshipping.com. At the moment, the site doesn't inspire much confidence, as it hasn't yet been updated to show the new status.
Shipment tracking is apparently also being added to the getpebble.com website where backers will be able to track their individual orders.
There are other delays on the software side of things as well, as Pebble reports here:
- Pebble iOS App is not yet available in the App Store. We submitted 2 weeks ago and have been responding to reviewer feedback. For the moment, iOS users who receive Pebble early will be able to do notifications/Music control but will not be able to install watchfaces or upgrade to the latest PebbleOS until the app appears in the App Store.
- Android app will go live on Google Play on Thursday Jan 24
We've been badgering Pebble about the long delays for a while now, but all things considered, this is not such a disastrous turn-around time on their part. Considering the campaign set out for $100,000 and raised 100 times that amount, and was the first campaign with a manufacturing component to have to sort out such a quick scaling up of operations, taking 6 months to catch up to reality is not the end of the world.
What matters is that Pebble is fulfilling its commitments, and the whole crowdfunding world will learn from the company's experience. Now we'll just have to see is the product itself lives up to its promise.
- Eric Mack is Managing Editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He has covered business, technology and politics for more than a decade for major outlets including CNET, CBS, AOL, NPR, Wired, and the New York Times. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter and join our Crowdsourcing community on Google+.