Initial Google Glass Units Will Be Built in the USA
Google wants to set an example for other American businesses. Go Google go!
Now that the Google Glass contest has come to a close, the company has roughly 8,000 orders to fill. Sources close to the project claim that Google has partnered with Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to assemble the first wave of headsets in Santa Clara, California rather than overseas. Google will reportedly source most of the components from Asia, but the final assembly will be in the United States.
According to unnamed sources, Google plans to assemble a few thousand Glass units in the California factory within the coming weeks. Google supposedly wants to be closely involved in the production process -- to have better control over the "complex" and "small-scale" operation. This "hands on" approach will even allow Google to make last minute fixes for personal customization.
Sources also claim that Google wants to become a "high-profile example" by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. That's admirable, given that so many American companies are tossing jobs overseas due to cheaper labor. However, there's no indication that Google plans to resume U.S.-based assembly after the initial Glass run in California.
The last product Google assembled in the United States was the Nexus Q, an orb-shaped media streaming entertainment device running Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." It was originally introduced in June 2012, but it was removed from Google Play and taken back to the drawing board in October due to numerous complaints over its design and overblown price tag.
Just this week, Google announced that it is now sending out notices to winners of its Google Glass competition. Potential users of the "Explorer" version were required to send in a description of how the specs would be used. A hefty 8,000 winners were chosen who, in turn, must go to New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco and purchase the specs for $1,500.
Glass isn't due to go retail until 4Q13 or 1Q14.