What you need to know
- Nubia announced and launched the Nubia Watch back in October after an earlier Kickstarter campaign.
- But backers complained about what they said was an unfair campaign. Earlier adopters had paid more money for the Watch than it ultimately retailed for, some have yet to receive their product.
- The company this week claimed the delays were down to logistical issues and plans to compensate early adopters with free accessories.
Earlier this year, ZTE subsidiary Nubia announced the eponymous Nubia Watch, a flexible smartwatch that tackled everything we'd expect from a smartwatch. It had customizable watch faces, handled notifications, tracked your health, offered music streaming via Bluetooth, and would last for up to a week if handled with care.
The Watch hit the market in October after a brisk and successful Kickstarter campaign. The company reached its funding goal and subsequently launched the device globally for $219.
While that's all well and good, but backers who had supported the original Kickstarter felt slighted. For them, the product had been hit with repeated delays, and the final pricing had been revised downwards from what some backers had paid originally — $399. In fact, many had commented on being able to find the watch on alternate shopping platforms like noon or AliExpress with faster delivery for less money.
When reached for comment, a Nubia spokesperson confirmed that its shipping issues were mostly logistical and had been resolved broadly, sharing:
As for the payments, the Nubia spokesperson added that it had been a victim of its own success:
Kickstarters are always fraught with uncertainty. Even after funding comes through, unforeseen circumstances (or even deliberate dishonesty) may lead to products that never end up shipping. Nubia watch backers are likely in no danger of that, the company isn't a small start-up that could go bankrupt anytime (it still remains tied to the giant ZTE after all), and it has promised to reward early backers with free accessories. Their responses are not winning everyone over, but that's the risk you run with crowdfunded projects.
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