$1500 Google Glass Costs Less Than $80 to Make: Report


Google’s controversial Internet-linked Glass eyewear was made available in the US at $1,500 to the general public for a limited period as a part of the company’s Google Explorer programme in April. The Mountain View giant had later noted that its eyewear was sold out within a day.

However, a new teardown of this Internet-connected wearable device by Teardown.com, a website that stripped the Glass down to the core and published estimates of the final bill of materials used in the device, has started a new debate.

Notably, if the whopping $1,500 price tag of Google Glass is compared to the bill estimate of the materials used (which Teardown.com claims is $79.78 ) it works out to just a bit more than 5 percent of the retail price of the Glass.

Some of the price estimates detailed by Teardown.com for the Google Glass include, display/ touchscreen and glass costs of $3; battery costs of $1.14; camera costs of $5.66; NAND (storage) costs of $8.18; processor costs of $13.96, and SDRAM costs of $4.68, among others.

It’s worth noting that in the past year, we have seen quite a few teardowns of this connected wearable device from Google, but none has detailed the price of the materials used for Glass.

To be noted of course is that a bill of materials is usually far less than the cumulative costs required to develop a product, from R&D to talent, especially one in a new product category – like Google Glass.

Google in no time responded to Teardown.com’s material cost estimate and called it “absolutely wrong”. Wall Street Journal quoted a Google spokesman who however declined to comment further.

The WSJ also notes that Teardown.com’s price estimates for Google Glass material were based on quick analysis and might change once the site undergoes more detailed exploration.

Earlier in April, Google announced a firmware update for its Google Glass eyewear that notably featured Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Other new features include improvements such as better battery life.

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