Pebble Watch crowdfunding hits record on Kickstarter

Pebble Watch funding hits milestone
Pebble Watch funding hits milestone   

Crowdfunding for the Pebble smartwatch on Kickstarter has reached $20 million, but its success may be due in part to anticipation for the Apple Watch, researchers say.

Pebble had 78,471 backers and $20,338,986 in Kickstarter funding, according to the website Monday. Pebble's initial goal on the crowdfunding site was $500,000.

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Pebble says its watch is water resistant and its battery can last up to seven days. Apple's watch is water-resistant as well, but its battery life is about 18 hours, based on regular use, according to the tech giant. And while pricing on the Apple Watch starts at $349, the basic Pebble Watch costs about $99, according to the companies' websites.

Part of Pebble's success could be thanks to fanfare over the Apple Watch, however.

Pebble smart watch.
Source: Pebble
Pebble smart watch.

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"Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Wearables team, in a research note released Monday.

"The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general, and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight," Llamas said.

IDC expects wrist-worn devices to make up 80 percent of the wearable-device market through 2019, with more than 101 million smartwatches being shipped during that year, according to its latest forecast.