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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."

Comments

  • Reply 1 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?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    I don't think there are any plans for Apple to acquire Pebble.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    "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.
  • Reply 5 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. 

  • Reply 6 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. 

  • Reply 7 of 17
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    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 image

  • Reply 8 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?
  • Reply 9 of 17
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    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.)

  • Reply 10 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 


     


     


  • Reply 11 of 17
    taddtadd Posts: 132member

    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.    

  • Reply 12 of 17
    Smartwatch= Digital handcuffs
  • Reply 13 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.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    If this is even remotely true, it's the dumbest, most stupidest thing I have ever heard of ....

    Apple buying Pebble?!?
    And to what end?
    Des Pebble have some sort of supersecret tech that Apple simply must have?

    But anyone gets worked-up into a froth over this, remember just days before iPad 3 was announced,
    the rumors were flying of Apple having aquired some tactile touchscreen something-or-other company.
    The boss of the company even said "I can't comment on that [until the iPad 3 announcement], too.
    And look how true that rumor turned out ti be ....

    Did you see th Pebble CES 2013 presser?
    I did.
    It was a cobbled together, disorganized mess.

    And the Pebble watch itself -- while a neat piece of kit -- is hardly some earth shattering advancement in wearable computing.
    And by tne way, I kickstarted this thing and they are already FIVE MONTHS late with my reward -- a cherry red Pebble -- with no end at all in sight ....

    No, what this all is, is just the latest post-Steve crack in Apple's veneer.
    And now we hear Apple has a 100 person team scrambling to rush together to bring to market some underwhelming POS?
    Could any New Agers out there please channel Steve and have him re-take over the reigns?
    Couldja do that, please?
    Thank you.
  • Reply 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".
  • Reply 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. image

  • Reply 17 of 17
    ipenipen Posts: 410member


    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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