Pebble Time smartwatch on track to start shipping May 27

The first batch of smartwatches are nearly on their way to owners as Pebble is in the home stretch of a sprint to combat the Apple Watch.

Despite recent, unconfirmed reports that Pebble is facing a financial challenge, the company's Pebble Time smartwatch is in the final stages of production.

pebble-time-production.png

A Thursday email sent to backers -- I'm one of them -- notes that shipments for the e-paper watch will begin on May 27. And all backers should have a tracking number for the delivery of their Pebble Time by the middle of June.

The aggressive timing from product launch in January to delivery in June is quite impressive.

And while Pebble couldn't get out ahead of the Apple Watch, which was announced last September, at least it can ride the rising tide that could lift all smartwatch boats. Apple Watch sales are raising mainstream awareness of these devices, possibly helping future Pebble Time sales.

What's likely to help those sales the best, though, are positive reactions from the first Pebble Time owners and reviewers. We won't see hands-on opinions for several weeks yet but Pebble Time shows promise.

Two of the most appealing aspects are the $199 retail price and the cross-platform support: You can use a Pebble Time with either an iPhone or nearly any Android handset. Even though Pebble Time can run third-party apps, it has a distinct focus on managing your day with a unique timeline interface.

Pebble Time timeline interface Pebble

And although I don't mind charging either of my current smartwatches nightly -- I own a Sony Smartwatch 3 and an Apple Watch -- Pebble Time should run for a week before the battery needs more juice.

See also: Five things the Pebble Time can do that the Apple Watch can't

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