Pebble has run into a couple more roadblocks as it tries to get the Pebble Time Steel smartwatch out the door.
Originally, Pebble had planned to begin shipping the Time Steel to Kickstarter backers in July, but the company now says shipping has slipped to the first week of August. The company still plans to complete all Pebble Time Steel shipments by the end of the month.
The bigger problem relates to the Time Steel’s metal band, which is included alongside a leather band for Kickstarter backers. (At retail, the metal band will be sold separately.) Pebble now says most Time Steel shipments will include just the leather band, with the metal band shipping separately to backers at a later date.
Pebble will cover the cost of the extra shipment for the metal band, which it’s hoping to ship to all backers by the end of September. The company hasn’t ruled out shipping both bands together for some backers if availability improves.
The Pebble Time Steel ($299) is a more luxurious version of the Pebble Time ($199) smartwatch that launched at retail earlier this month. Both watches have always-on color displays, are fully waterproof, and can run for days on a single charge. But while the Pebble Time is covered mostly in plastic and ships with a silicone band, the Time Steel is metal-clad in gold, silver, or black finishes, and comes with a leather band. It also has a longer battery life of up to 10 days, compared to one week of advertised battery life on the Pebble Time.
Why this matters: While the Pebble Time has earned praise from reviewers for its simplicity and always-on display, its plastic-clad design can feel like a toy next to the Apple Watch or the Moto 360. The Time Steel is Pebble’s best chance at competing as smartwatches aspire to luxury status, so hopefully the company can fulfill Kickstarter pledges and bring it to retail before too long.