Backers of the Pebble Time Steel smartwatch will be happy to hear that it's still on track to start shipping in July.
That's according to an update on Pebble's Kickstarter page, which notes that new pre-production samples of the stainless steel watches have just arrived. The company didn't get into specifics on ship dates, though it's worth noting that the regular Pebble Time started shipping on the later end of its May target. While some Pebble Time backers had issues with receiving their orders, everything should be resolved this week, the company says.
The Pebble Time Steel is nearly identical in functionality to the Pebble Time. Both watches have always-on displays, and pair with either an iPhone or Android phone for connectivity. They both have the Timeline interface that lets users glance at information from the past and future, and run the same Pebble apps. The main differences are the stainless steel body and the inclusion of both steel and leather watch bands. The Steel version advertises up to 10 days of battery life, compared to seven days on the Pebble Time, though it's 1 mm thicker as a result.
On Monday, Pebble started taking Pebble Time pre-orders through Best Buy for those who didn't back the Kickstarter campaign, with a $199 price tag and delivery by July 20. Pebble has yet to say when it will open up general pre-orders for the Steel variant, which will cost an extra $100.
Why this matters: By now, we're used to crowdfunded wearables shipping late or completely blowing up. While the original Pebble smartwatch wasn't immune to delays, the sequel is going much more smoothly. That's good news for backers, but not entirely unexpected; the Pebble Time's Kickstarter campaign wasn't so much a necessity as it was an early access tool and promotional mechanism.