Layoffs Could Mean Smartwatches Are Running Out of Time

Pebble is letting 25% of its workforce go
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2016 6:05 PM CDT
Layoffs Could Mean Smartwatches Are Running Out of Time
Smartwatch-maker Pebble is laying off 40 people, about 25% of its workforce.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Is the smartwatch's time already over? Tech Insider reports Pebble—one of the first companies to release a smartwatch—is laying off 40 employees, about 25% of its total staff. Pebble raised $26 million this year, in addition to the $30 million it has raised on Kickstarter since its founding, according to Fortune. Regardless, CEO Eric Migicovsky says fundraising has been difficult in Silicon Valley, necessitating the layoffs. "Money is pretty tight these days," he tells Tech Insider. Despite the layoffs, Migicovsky says Pebble "is in this for the long haul." "We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years," he says. In the near future, that includes focusing on health and fitness functions popular with consumers.

The problems at Pebble are just another sign of dark clouds looming for the wearable technology industry, Tech Insider reports. FitBit, the industry leader in wearable tech, recently had its stock fall "dramatically." Apple reduced the price of its Apple Watch by $50 this week, signs that sales aren't going well. Pebble also dropped the price of its watches this month. Despite these warning signs, more and more companies are getting into the smartwatch game, according to Ars Technica. And experts believe smartwatches will still be the most-purchased piece of wearable technology for at least the next few years. (More smartwatch stories.)

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