Pebble Layoffs a Sign of the Times for Wearables

SMS from Tyler

Never mind, Tyler… Just collect your personal effects from your workstation and security will escort you out.

Yesterday Tech Insider reported the surprising news that Pebble is laying off 40 employees this week—25% of its current staff. I say “surprising” because you wouldn’t expect a company that has no problem raising tens of millions of dollars every time it takes to Kickstarter to be short of cash.

CEO Eric Migicovsky seems as committed to his baby as ever: “Pebble is in this for the long haul. We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years, and this is setting us up for success.” Pebble plans to launch its products in India next month, so it doesn’t seem like the company is on the brink of financial ruin. At least not yet.

The layoffs are certainly troubling for Pebblers, but there is doom and gloom for other wearable platforms as well. After a spectacular IPO Fitbit Inc. is currently trading at half of its December 31st stock price. And if Apple Watch is the runaway sales hit that Apple tells us it is, how come they’re suddenly knocking $100 off the price tag?

As for Pebble, I’ve no comment on the layoffs but I think the permanent price drop on its entire product line is a prudent move. $149.99 USD is a much more reasonable entry point for what boils down to notifications on your wrist.

Sources: Tech Insider, Pebble Blog

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