Even Best Buy Is Beating Apple to the Smart Watch Push

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In another sign that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) may be running out of time to matter in the smart watch game, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) will reportedly begin stocking the Pebble smart watch this weekend.

Apple watcher 9to5Mac is hearing from a couple of Best Buy employees that the consumer electronics superstore will begin selling the original smart watch at some of its stores as early as Sunday.

Pebble turned heads last year with its Kickstarter-funded campaign for $150 wristwatches that communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth to broadcast incoming notifications. Having incoming texts, calls, tweets, weather alerts, and other notifications easily accessible on your wrist may not be a big deal, but it's socially and functionally superior than to be whipping out your phone every time.

Despite mixed reviews on the quality of the device, it's clear that smart watches are here to stay as a growing smartphone accessory. Best Buy starting to stock the watches -- and possibly advertising them in this Sunday's ad circular -- may be the tipping point for the niche. 

Where is Apple? The iWatch rumors have been floating around since before Pebble's arrival. Pebble devices work on both iOS and Android smartphones, but, naturally, it would be better for the consumer tech titan if if could put out a smart watch that tied buyers exclusively to iPhone and iPad devices.

Even Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn was showcasing an iPhone-compatible smart watch last week.

Foxconn and Best Buy have been Apple partners for years. What does it mean when even they are hopping on the smart watch craze before Apple does?

Time is ticking, and Apple continues to blow a golden opportunity to get a leg up for its platform by putting out a stylish and functional smart watch that will keep buyers feasting on Apple's ecosystem. After all, only Apple could make a smart watch and tie it exclusively to iOS. If it lets too many Android-compatible devices flood the market before its arrival -- making cheaper Android smartphones just as functional as iPhones -- the conversation will turn to iOS defections instead of the opportunity to grow its installed base.

If someone can't walk into a Best Buy and snap up an iWatch this holiday season, Apple won't need a smart watch to know that it's late to the party.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 02, 2013, at 8:38 PM, riwaterman wrote:

    Hmmm, apple wasn't the first computer maker

    Apple wasn't the first portable computer maker

    Apple wasn't the first mp3 maker

    Apple wasn't the first smartphone maker

    Apple was the first tablet maker with the Newton and it was not a great success.

    Apple was not the first tablet maker in the modern era

    Apple is doomed I tell you absolutely doomed.

    They will never be anything if they don't have the first product out.

    Stupid stupid stupid article

    Keep your day job.

  • Report this Comment On July 02, 2013, at 8:41 PM, G44ca wrote:

    Re: "In another sign that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) may be running out of time to matter in the smart watch game, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) will reportedly begin stocking the Pebble smart watch this weekend."

    Apple doesn't care if the Pebble is launched before it's product. In fact, it may hope it does to have the product category more established in consumers minds. MP3 players, smartphones and tablets were all being sold for several years before the iPod, iPhone and iPad launched. No need to rush.

  • Report this Comment On July 02, 2013, at 9:33 PM, marv08 wrote:

    If anybody truly believes that Apple would release a watch, or something that is primarily a watch... he/she needs meds. Metric tons of them.

    Apple will release a wearable device, maybe even something that wraps around one's wrist, that will change the scope and image of computers forever.

    If they can. If not, they won't release anything.

    It requires a convicted fool to even think for one second that Apple will compete with something like the "Pebble". Every dedicated Apple employee would rather shoot himself.

  • Report this Comment On July 02, 2013, at 10:39 PM, larryw101 wrote:

    Another Apple bashing article by this worthless Motley author.

    This guy is always bashing Apple.

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2013, at 12:29 AM, bvtxweb wrote:

    ... I really thought about posting?

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2013, at 4:56 AM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    But once again Rick Munarriz proves that he can be the first to say something worthless, rather that holding back and risking giving an considered and intelligent contribution on a topic that others may already have mentioned.

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2013, at 12:24 PM, Clint35 wrote:

    Come on Rick. Don't you think it's a little early to be saying the smart watch is here to stay. Nobody has even sold one yet. So how do we know if consumers even like them yet (on a large scale). I sure don't get why anybody would want a smart watch that does everything your smartphone can do. Why is it uncool to be seen whipping a smartphone out of your pocket? By the way I don't mean to bash you like some of the other commentators. I just think it's way too early to "call it".

  • Report this Comment On August 05, 2013, at 10:39 AM, elmdigital wrote:

    Smart watches are still trying to figure it all out. The 'HOT' watch just came out on kickstarter and lets you make and receive phone calls. This is a first and an immediate difference from the competition.

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