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.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.