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Pebble CEO on possible Apple acquisition: "I can't comment on that"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The co-founder and CEO of Pebble, which builds customizable smartwatches, declined comment on Tuesday when asked in an interview whether Apple had approached Pebble to talk about a possible acquisition.

Speaking with CNBC, Eric Migicovsky expressed confidence in Pebble's ability to compete in the nascent smartwatch sector, even should a technology giant such as Apple decide to enter the fray. Asked whether Apple ? which CEO Tim Cook said acquires smaller companies about once a month ? had approached him regarding possibly buying out Pebble, Migicovsky ducked the question:

"I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately," he responded.

Pebble CEO
Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky shows off a Pebble prototype in the company's original Kickstarter campaign video.


Migicovsky did say that he and the crew behind Pebble were excited to see increased interest in the smartwatch segment, interest brought on in part by a recent spike in rumors saying that Apple is working on its own smartwatch.

"I think what's going on in the smartphone space right now is we are seeing more and more devices work with the smartphone," Migicovsky said. "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."

Migicovsky added he wasn't afraid that Apple would be able to leapfrog Pebble by too far in terms of capabilities, since the technology isn't sufficiently developed to truly miniaturize the full computing power of a smartphone in watch format.

"I think that there's a lot of technological limitations right now, on putting the computational power and battery life specifically in a watch form factor... I would be interested to see if anyone's been able to crack that code."

Pebble's smartwatch gained considerable popularity on the Internet following what became the most highly funded project in Kickstarter's history. The campaign met its $100,000 goal in two hours and brought in $10,266,844 within a month of launching. Pebble units began shipping to early supporters in late January.

Pebble


Multiple observers and commentators have raised the possibility of Apple acquiring a smaller company such as Pebble ? or even larger, more established companies ? as a means of growing market share, entering new segments, or simply doing something with its massive cash pile. Apple head Cook said that the company did last year buy a company about once every two months ? including a $365 million purchase of fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec ? but that such acquisitions occur only when the company's makeup is in line with Apple's own.

"We're disciplined and thoughtful," Cook explained, "and we don't feel a pressure to go out and acquire revenue. We want to make great products."
post #2 of 17
Hmm. That's interesting.

On a side note: When they make the movie about the start-up of Pebble, is Will Ferrell going to play Migicovsky?
post #3 of 17
A wearable e-ink display and a low-power bluetooth connection to the iPhone could make for a great product category.

The critical thing is to make it lightweight with enough power so you don't have to charge it every day.
post #4 of 17
I don't think there are any plans for Apple to acquire Pebble.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately," he responded.

Why do these writers insist on asking questions that they know people can't answer?

It seems to be just to prove to themselves just how smart they think they are.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #6 of 17

Talk about a slanted headline.... AI: "Pebble CEO on possible Apple acquisition: "I can't comment on that"

 

Actual quote: ""I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately," he responded."

 

BIG difference. 

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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Why do these writers insist on asking questions that they know people can't answer?

It seems to be just to prove to themselves just how smart they think they are.

 

To see how people answer the question. 

 

 

 

Quote:
"I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately," he responded.

 

This is a very negative statement. 'anything like that' and 'unfortunately' seem to indicate disappointment. 'anything like that' leads me to believe no topic has been discussed, followed by the confirmation of 'unfortunately' as in he wishes he did have something he could not comment on. 

 

My guess is that Apple has not approached them on any topic. 

post #8 of 17

Interest is definitely heating up.

 

I have a WIMM smartwatch that runs Android.  I liked it because it had its own WiFi and GPS, allowing it to update RSS feeds, weather, etc all on its own.

 

This past summer, their website suddenly changed to say, "WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales..."

 

Sounds like a good time to be a smartwatch startup 1smile.gif

post #9 of 17
On a technical note, to preserve battery power, shouldn't a smartwatch activate its display only when the gyroscopes and other sensors detect it is oriented to the face of the wearer?
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For your sake, I hope you're right.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

On a technical note, to preserve battery power, shouldn't a smartwatch activate its display only when the gyroscopes and other sensors detect it is oriented to the face of the wearer?

 

Quick.  Patent that.   Except you'd be using power to watch the orientation.  Perhaps a simple ball bearing position sensor would be good enough.   Anyway, you brought up a good point:

 

One of the things that has often griped smartwatch users, is that some need the user to hit a button or touch the screen to make it wake up.

 

Some smartwatches (like the Pebble) get around that problem by using e-ink/paper screens which don't use any extra power when on.  But most are only black & white displays.   (My WIMM smartwatch has a color display for when it's active.  It also has a low power sunlight readable B&W mode, for when it's not.)

post #11 of 17
Quote:

Pebble CEO on possible Apple acquisition: "I can't comment on that"

 

I can-   why would Apple bother?  This falls far short of anything Apple would create 

 

 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Quick.  Patent that.   Except you'd be using power to watch the orientation.  Perhaps a simple ball bearing position sensor would be good enough.   Anyway, you brought up a good point:

 

Running an accelerometer doesn't take as much juice as lighting up a backlight by any stretch.  It would really suck though if my watch wouldn't work while reclining, or skydiving, however.  I'm inclined (sorry) to think that making a sensor to notice the index finger squeezing (which pulls a muscle in the wrist) may be possible.  I used to be sure that Apple would surprise us all.  Now I just hope they will.    

post #13 of 17
Smartwatch= Digital handcuffs
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post #14 of 17

Isn't the purpose of such a device to replace a phone not to replace a watch?

 

If so, using time functions need be no different than using time functions on an iPhone.

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post #15 of 17
He is clearly creating a rumour so other companies do their normal "oh no, Apple is looking to buy xxxxxx company, let's beat them to it and then work out why they wanted it".
post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post
Talk about a slanted headline.... AI: "Pebble CEO on possible Apple acquisition: "I can't comment on that"

 

Actual quote: ""I can't comment on anything like that, unfortunately," he responded."

 

BIG difference. 

 

Agreed. Changed.


Now watch the bot change it back. lol.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #17 of 17

It's so obvious.  The "declined to comment" means yes, but due to a non-disclosure clause, he can't say anything about it.  I bet Apple is in the process of negotiating a buyout deal.

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