updated 11:59 am EST, Wed January 23, 2013
First 500 watches despatched, delayed over airport paperwork
The Pebble smartwatch has started shipping to Kickstarter backers, though less than initially estimated. The low shipment numbers problem is accompanied by news of a possible delay in the iOS app for the watch, limiting what actions backers will be able to perform on the device once they receive their orders.
An update on the project's Kickstarter page says that less than 500 units will be heading out to customers today, with the reason for the hold up being something to do with "documentation at the airport". An issue with address confirmation e-mails will also see some backers not getting a tracking number for their order until a few days after they have shipped.
The Pebble iOS app was submitted to Apple two weeks ago, and the Pebble team has been responding to reviewer feedback, but there has not been any confirmation as to when it will appear in the App Store. This will prevent iOS users from installing watchfaces or upgrading the onboard software, but it will still allow for notifications to be displayed and for music to be controlled from the watch itself. The Android version of the app will go live on Google Play on January 24th.
The most recent production notes indicate that the factory is manufacturing between 800 and 1,000 Pebbles per day, and at full capacity will be constructing 2,400 watches per day. Master cartons of Pebbles are travelling by air freight to distribution centers in the US and Hong Kong, giving the total delivery time between a Pebble leaving the production line and reaching the backer as between five days and a week.