Is Apple stalling Pebble's smartwatch software?
There's no question the Apple Watch is dominating the smartwatch discussion these days. I've worn a Pebble smartwatch since for about two years now and loved it, but it'll be an uphill battle for such a small outfit to compete with a company that has the design, materials and manufacturing chops Apple does. The first shipments of Pebble's second iteration, the Pebble Time smartwatch, is shipping now. Few are paying close attention, and so far it seems it won't give Apple much to worry about.
Or will it?
The first Pebble Times started shipping the last week of May (mine hasn't shipped yet, but should soon), but iPhone users who received theirs have been stuck — the app needed to set up the watch isn't available in Apple's App Store. Sure they're a small outfit, but how could Pebble allow this to happen? Company officials took to Kickstarter today to explain.
The iPhone app needed to run the Pebble Time has been languishing in Apple's review process since minor bug fixes were submitted May 22. Pebble's requested fast-track approval for this latest update, something that resulted in approval within 24 hours the last (and only) time Pebble requested it for the company's first smartwatch app. This time, the request has gone unanswered.
Speaking of that app for the first-generation watch, maybe you're wondering why Pebble doesn't just add Pebble Time functionality to that and move it through Apple's approval process. It turns out Pebble's latest request for an update to that app — "containing one bug fix," the company says — has been in review for more than a month.
It seems unlikely that Apple is worried about competition for the Apple Watch. And if competition were a concern, it still seems most likely they'd be worried about the other major corporations trying to shoulder their way into the market, not a small outfit they could buy and sell a hundred times over before lunch.
Hopefully both of Pebble's pending app updates will be approved soon, and this is nothing more than another glitch in Apple's oft-maligned app approval process.
But if Apple was afraid of Pebble? This is exactly what you'd expect to see.