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Pebble credits fans for successfully nudging Apple to approve app

Technically Incorrect: The smartwatch maker claims its updated app was being kept in Apple's review purgatory. It pushes its fans to pressure Apple and is now claiming victory.

There's no evidence that Apple was deliberately delaying the approval of this app. Pebble/Kickstarter

Business is a place where everyone is innocent on the outside and occasionally sinful in their inner world.

There was a sense, therefore, of an accusatory finger being pointed the way of Cupertino by smartwatch maker Pebble.

On its Kickstarter page, Pebble mumbled and muttered darkly about the time it was taking for Apple to review the new Pebble Time iPhone app. (Don't worry, there's a happy ending.)

Here was Pebble's wording: "The Pebble Time iPhone app, as we've all noticed, is not yet live on the iTunes AppStore. It remains 'in review.' This unexpected circumstance pains us as much it does backers with watches ready to set up."

Here was my translation: "Apple is dragging its feet like prehistoric man used to drag his knuckles along the floor. Apple doesn't want to approve anything Pebble because it's peddling its darned Apple Watch."

Pebble said that Apple approved its new app on May 18. Then Pebble inserted some "minor bug fixes." It asked Apple to give them a quick once-over.

Then, said Pebble, the dreaded purgatory.

So it wanted all its fans and followers to heap pressure on Apple. Pebble said: "We're sure Apple, like Pebble, loves its fans and is responsive to feedback. Together, we can kindly express our desire to see the AppStore #FreeOurPebbleTime with a speedy approval of Pebble Time Watch for iPhone."

A touching use of the word "kindly." The Web is well known for its kindly spirit.

Still, Pebble asked its fans to approach Apple directly, on Twitter, on Facebook, or by stalking Tim Cook's house until he was ready to call the police. (I made that last one up.)

Pebble currently has 78,471 backers and has raised more than $20 million, so there was quite some cohort behind its effort.

And now a reported victory. On its Twitter feed, Pebble crowed: "Pebblers, you did it: #PebbleTime Watch for iPhone is approved for the #iTunes @AppStore."

I wondered how keen, Apple would be to succumb to such pressure. I somehow felt that on seeing these entreaties Apple might emit a cough, a chuckle and the mere hint of a snort.

But perhaps Cupertino was moved.

There's no evidence that Apple was deliberately delaying the approval of this app. There's no evidence that it might do this to somehow make its own watch even more attractive.

I have contacted Apple to ask for its side of this contretemps. I will update, as soon as I hear. Still, if all is now right in Pebbleworld, how lovely that it's happened before the weekend.

I fear that one part of Pebble's Kickstarter plea might not have been swallowed smoothly by Apple.

Pebble said: "While waiting for the iPhone app, iOS backers may borrow an Android device from friends or family to perform initial setup, add cool watchfaces, or install standalone apps that don't require a paired smartphone."

You want iPhone owners to borrow an Android phone? Oh, no, no, no.

(Via Wall Street Journal)