Pebble steals a march on Apple Watch with Pebble Time Steel

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At Mobile World Conference, Pebble Time Steel (right) tried to steal Apple Watch's thunder.
At Mobile World Conference, Pebble Time Steel (right) tried to steal Apple Watch's thunder.

Introduced as "one last thing" at Mobile World Congress, Pebble's lookalike launches a week ahead of Apple's timepiece

Apple is expected to launch the Apple Watch next week, but rival Pebble has stolen the company's thunder by launching a lookalike called Pebble Time Steel.

The new watch is an upgrade on the existing Pebble Time, which was only launched on Kickstarter last week.

Anyone who has already backed Pebble Time can upgrade to the new, premium smartwatch, which costs $250. It comes in black, gold or stainless steel, and has a longer battery life at 10 hours.

Early shots indicate the Pebble Time Steel bear a close resemblance to the Apple Watch. Both are made of stainless steel, and both come with either steel or leather straps.

In a possible acknowledgement of Pebble’s timing, CEO Eric Migicovsky appeared to borrow Steve Jobs’ famous line when announcing the new watch at Mobile World Congress, saying: "And we have time for one last thing".

Jobs would often use the phrase towards the end of his Apple keynotes to announce left-field new products, such as the iPad.

Wearables should  be seamless

Migicovsky took a further dig at Apple and other rivals in the smartwatch market while outlining Pebble’s wider vision in wearables.

He argued that the best wearable technology should fit seamlessly into customers’ lives, rather than forcing them to work around their devices.

He added that smartwatch makers should not jam in too much functionality, detracting from the fundamental purpose of any watch – to tell the time.

He said: "A watch gives you context around your day – you see the time, and then you think, am I late? Am I early? Should I still be sleeping? A smartwatch takes that original purpose and extends it.

"One of the biggest things we’ve accomplished at Pebble is the idea of not forcing the user to change their habits around the device."

He added: "A lot of companies don’t really understand this, which is surprising to me because [these features] are so valued by our customer base."

This article first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.

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