Yesterday we noted that Best Buy retail sources indicated the popular ‘Pebble’ Bluetooth smart watch would be landing on at least some of the retailer’s store shelves this weekend. Today Pebble and Best Buy have finally made things official by announcing the partnership that will bring the most successful Kickstarter-backed device of all time to both Best Buy online and across all its U.S. brick and mortar locations.
It’s definitely big news for the company ahead of Apple’s rumored smart watch, as well as Sony and others getting deeper into the space. The exclusive retail partnership with Best Buy also marks Pebble’s first retail launch of the device following raising over $10.2 million from around 68,000 backers on Kickstarter.
“It’s been so rewarding to see and share the great things our early backers and development partners have done with Pebble already,” says CEO Eric Migicovsky. “Their work and our evolving app ecosystem has kept demand very high. Best Buy’s partnership with us is a big step towards meeting that demand.”
As we first reported yesterday, Pebble confirmed today that the device will be landing in all U.S. Best Buy locations starting Sunday, July 7, and Jet black and Cherry red editions of the smart watch are already available through Best Buy’s website. The Jet black models will be shipping starting today through the retailer’s online store, while the Cherry red models will arrive sometime later in August.
The packaging for Pebble also appears to have received an upgrade for Best Buy’s store shelves since we first saw it back in January right before the device started shipping to Kickstarter backers:
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Also of note is the recent update to the Pebble companion app for iPhone, which makes a lot more sense now that the retail partnership with Best Buy is announced. Last week Pebble added a much “improved initial set-up of Pebble with a step-by-step walk through,” as well as new tutorials and guides for pairing, receiving messages, and discovering new content and apps. In what seems like another preparation for its big retail launch, it also added a “screen to simulate receiving an SMS/iMessage notification or phone call.”
Pebble has clarified some questions around the launch by reassuring Kickstarter backers that “Best Buy availability of Jet Black now and Cherry Red in August doesn’t prevent us from honoring our commitment to our earliest supporters.” It’s also hoping that Best Buy availability helps ease its current preorder queue, noting that “if you decide to pick up a Jet Black Pebble at Best Buy, no action is needed to cancel your unpaid pre-order from getpebble.com.”
You can order the black model of the Pebble & the Cherry red from Bestbuy.com for $149 now, The three other colors the company offers– Orange, Grey, and Arctic White– will remain available exclusively through its website at getpebble.com.
Pebble has sent an email to pre-order customers regarding the Best Buy partnership: