February 13, 2013
Talk of a possible iWatch, or as some of our readers are calling it, the iPal, has taken an interesting turn. In an interview with CNBC, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky wouldn’t comment on suggestions that Apple is interested in buying his company. Of course, by not commenting, the possibility that this could happen has become the big news coming out of the interview. Pebble, of course, is the company behind the Kickstarter sensation, the Pebble E-Paper Watch for the iPhone/iPod touch and Android. Backed in 2012 to the tune of $10.2 million, the first Pebble watches started shipping late last month. When asked specifically whether Apple or other companies have approached him about a possible acquisition of Pebble, Migicovsky said this:
I think what's going on in the smartphone space right now is we are seeing more and more devices work with the smartphone and so with the massive market share that Apple has on the smartphone side, seeing other devices connect to the smartphone — almost as like a central part of connection to the Internet — I think it's a pretty big opportunity.The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and now Bloomberg have all reported that Apple is working on an iWatch. As Aldrin Calimlim reported earlier, according to Bloomberg’s insider sources, work has already begun on the device.
The team, which has grown in the past year, includes managers, members of the marketing group, and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private.Just how advanced Apple’s development of the iWatch is has been open to debate. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have said development is only in the early stages. According to Bloomberg, however, Apple is already “beyond the experimentation phase.” Were Apple to release an e-watch of their own, the team at Pebble would no doubt be at an immediate disadvantage. As Pebble’s numerous delays in production for their device has proven, development of this type of product isn’t for the faint of heart, especially for startups. By contrast, Apple would almost certainly have no problem beginning production of an iWatch for an international launch. As Apple has proven with past acquisitions such as those of Color and LaLa, buying a company doesn't necessarily mean simply rebranding a existing product. As such, were Apple to buy Pebble, they would probably do so mainly to acquire the company's patents and expertise. As usual, we'll keep you updated.