This may be why the Pebble isn’t supported on Windows Phone

9 Comments

Credit: Pebble

Earlier this week, I noted an internal Microsoft Windows Phone app that works with the Pebble smartwatch. Now a detailed report from Windows Central adds more background about the reason for the app and why Pebble itself isn’t working on adding Windows Phone support to its smartwatch.

As you might expect, the core issue isn’t a technical one, as Windows Phone 8.1 supports Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. Instead, it appears to be a political problem even though Pebble itself may not want to devote effort to Windows Phone and it’s relatively low marketshare.

pebble notifications wp

Microsoft reportedly worked hard with Pebble to show how its smartphones could support the watch, even building a full app — likely the internal one we spotted this week — to help move the relationship forward. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be much of a relationship because Pebble’s founder and CEO, Eric Migicovsky isn’t interested in one. From the Windows Central report:

“Despite Microsoft’s attempts to win over Pebble, Migicovsky is reportedly not a fan of the company nor their mobile operating system. The young entrepreneur reportedly nixed any partnership.

Growing up in a world where Google and Apple have dominated the mobile scene, this perception that Microsoft is old and out of touch is seemingly more frequent these days. Particularly with those under 30 (see Snapchat’sEvan Spiegel for a similar attitude). Even Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was unable to persuade him personally.”

After Windows Central published its post, Migicovsky took to Twitter refuting it, saying he has’t spent much time with Microsoft’s CEO and that the rest of the story is also inaccurate:

In a related development, the Pebble team participated in a Reddit “ask me anything” session on Wednesday to discuss the new Pebble Time watch and the company acknowledged third-party Windows Phone app support, reiterating it does not have a Windows Phone app of it own. There wasn’t any mention of even considering it, even though various other feature requests got a general “we’ll think about it” answer.

If the Windows Central report is even partially correct, it’s a shame because it sounds as if Microsoft was willing to do all of the app development on Pebble’s behalf for its watch. And why not, when it would make Microsoft’s handsets a little more appealing, particularly to those who also own or want a Pebble.

pebble action

In that case, Pebble itself has nothing to lose, but of course the devil’s in the details: Perhaps there’s more to this story than just a CEO’s alleged dislike of a company. My hope is that whatever issues remain, they’re worked out. At the end of the day, it’s consumer choice that’s suffering here in both the phone and smartwatch products.

9 Comments

asher

apple has apple watch, android has a million android wear watches, microsoft has nothing but a few unreleased watches and a band thats only available in the US and is ugly as fudge. silly move

Joe Cassara

>Pebble would continue to work with Apple and its Android partners,
>but Microsoft and their Windows Phone would be more favored.

I’ve a feeling that caveat left Pebble feeling queasy, dismantling the deal.

PRETHOUGHT

pebble definitely has a market. It’s marketed to those who wish only charge their watch once a week. My Metawatch is still going strong right now and it’s 3 1/2 years old I will probably replace it when it goes out with a pebble. I’ve used it with 1 Android and 3 iPhones.

jojodog

Who cares.

Pebble is hardly innovative and far from stylish.

Besides, they probably won’t even exist in a few years with stiff competition against companies with deep pockets… that don’t have to rely kickstarter for funding.

PRETHOUGHT

pebble definitely has a market. It’s marketed to those who wish only charge their watch once a week. My Metawatch is still going strong right now and it’s 3 1/2 years old I will probably replace it when it goes out with a pebble. I’ve used it with 1 Android and 3 iPhones.

mike

You never know as poeple make silly decisions all the time. The story sounds pretty fishy though. Perhaps some big strokes are there but missing nuance. Who knows. As is it makes the Pebble guy out to be a complete idiot though and I doubt that’s true.
Maybe MS wanted something else Pebble didn’t want to give. Or maybe Pebble is trying to pressure MS into a nice buyout. They are buying up all the shiny things lately. Perhaps Pebble brass sees it as the best possible big payday.
Honestly Pebbles only future hope really relies on Apple and Google getting bored with the idea. Otherwise within a couple of years Pebble will not be able to keep up with the amount of resources those companies can put into going forward.

googlewornout

Google is out of touch. They haven’t made quality products, just free acceptable ones. Gmail is horrendous to use, and chrome can get junked up like any other browser. Android requires more hardware to run better since it is inefficient to begin with. When is the last time any of these services had a meaningful upgrade?

Steve

Windows Phone has 2.7% of the global market share, and that Windows Central article makes it sound like Microsoft wanted preferential treatment:
“Pebble would continue to work with Apple and its Android partners, but Microsoft and their Windows Phone would be more favored.”
If there was ANY risk that this approach would hurt their approach with Apple or Android, there were no reason whatsoever for Pebble to pursue it.

But as you said, we don’t know the real details. As far as I’m concerned, the onus is on Microsoft to persuade partners to join them, not on third parties to buy into their minimally-successful mobile OS.

Paul

A potential investor in Pebble might want to think twice before putting any money into the company. If they’re willing to turn down an opening in a new market, however small it may be, with zero overheads it shows that they’re not as interested in growing the company as they should be.

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