Pfft!, I said. But he was adamant and said everything he’d read about the new Pebble Time smartwatch made it a better choice. Uh huh. Sure. The one thing Pebble Time and Apple Watch have in common is that you cannot buy either one. Yet. What’s the different between the two? Plenty.
Watch Feature Wars
Just between you and me, Discovery channel, that place where you go to watch Poopscicle, Alaska Marshals, Fast ‘n Loud, and Amish Mafia, should create a new show called The Feature Wars.
The show would pit Apple’s product line against every major competitor in each segment, and customers and critics would duke it out– verbally, of course– over which product is the best.
If features alone are the criteria for buying a new smartwatch, Apple Watch can hold its own, but Pebble Time might be a good challenger for those who think everything made by Apple is too expensive.
Apple Watch is getting ready to ship to stores, while Pebble Time is still in the funding stage, but lets compare the two anyway. Maybe I’ll get a call from Discovery Channel and we can collaborate on my The Feature Wars TV show idea.
Pebble Time should go about a week or so on a battery charge vs. Apple Watch at a day or so. Winner? Pebble Time. Of course, Pebble Time isn’t doing as much, but a win is a win, right?
Wanna bet the Pebble watch above isn’t made of the same gold material as Apple Watch Edition?
Apple Watch does not play nice-nice with others. You have to have an iPhone to use it, while Pebble Time has apps aplenty that should connect and pretend to be really useful. Winner? Pebble.
Pebble Watch adheres to the 22mm watchband standard so you’ll be able to customize it for far less than Apple Watch. If price is an issue, Pebble wins. If not, some of Apple Watch’s bands are to die for.
Apple Watch has a high resolution color display while Pebble Time uses a lower resolution, lower power, color ePaper display. Not as pretty, but, you know, color and longer battery life. Winner? Tie (even though I’ve never seen either display; it’s my list so I can do that).
The problem with this exercise is that we can go on forever and a week, and nobody wins. Apple is Apple. Every competitor is different, and Pebble is just one of many that hope to carve a profitable niche in the smartphone arena where Apple is likely to own the lion’s share of the profits (just as it does with Mac, iPhone, and iPad).
Apple curates the entire ecosystem experience so each elegantly designed product works well with each product in Appleland. Pebble needs to differentiate itself from both Apple at the high end and the usual Samsung-like riffraff at the low end, so it needs to play well with others and cost less than Apple. Those are the rules, folks.
One thing about Apple Watch to note, though. Now we know what Samsung’s newest smartwatch will look like, and it won’t be long before Chinese watch makers crank out Watch knock offs for $99. Let The Feature Wars begin.