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Google Glass Parts May Cost Around $80

Up until April 15, Google Glass was only made available to chosen Explorer wearers who could afford to pay the hefty $1500 fee. However, on April 15, Google opened the Explorer doors to the public, and unsurprisingly ran out of Explorer "seats" in just 12 hours. These consumers also paid $1500 for the specs.

So what if we told you that the total cost of the hardware provided for Google Glass was only $79.78?  That's what teardown.com estimates, reporting that the display and glass only cost Google $3.00 and the battery only $1.14. The most expensive component is the Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 SoC, costing Google $13.96, followed by a non-electric component and "other" parts.

In addition to the TI OMAP processor, Google Glass also features a display with a 640 x 360 resolution, a 570 mAh battery, a 5MP camera, 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. Connectivity and sensors include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, an accelerometer, a compass and a gyroscope.

The chart shows that the camera costs Google $5.66, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth $10.79, and the NAND $8.18. The SDRAM only costs $4.68 and the power management/audio costs $3.52. The site points out that the numbers are "an estimate only since the device has not been fully analyzed - final estimate is expected to be different."

The thing to keep in mind is that hardware isn't the only cost. Google has presumably dumped loads of money into research and development at its Google X lab. There's a dedicated team that includes engineers and designers who require a paycheck. Let's not forget branding and the actual manufacturing, which requires Google to assemble a highly sophisticated form factor that presents a tiny screen in front of your eye- (model not included).

So the question is this: Is $1500 too much given the current estimate? A Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the estimate is "absolutely wrong," and declined to provide any additional information.

  • tomrippity02
    The product should be sold for exactly what people are willing to pay for it, regardless of cost of manufacture or BoM.

    This is not a product that people need to live and the price is being jacked up, this a fun product that a company designed and if they think people are willing to pay 1500 for it, that is what they should charge. I seriously doubt most people produce something on their own and think what is the minimum amount they could charge and still turn a profit... they think what is the maximum profit that they can make.
    Reply
  • Stimpack
    I have this half-eaten sandwich, any takers? $1,200? $1,100?
    Reply
  • john675
    Manufacturing costs are nothing compared to the cost of R&D.
    Reply
  • Akshat great
    Maybe after 1 or 2 year it will cost $200 or less with high specifications
    Reply
  • joaompp
    The reason it costs $1500 is because Google doesn't want everyone to have it in its current form, its very much a beta product and by having that huge $1500 entry barrier ensures that the people who do purchase the device will actually use it and provide useful feedback. It's actually a very smart move. Instead of a costly closed beta with little to no real world use, they're doing an open world beta and are not even paying for it. Plus, in the long run, it'll level out the hype cycle of this particular technology and reach the plateau of productivity sooner.
    Reply
  • WhyFi
    The product should be sold for exactly what people are willing to pay for it, regardless of cost of manufacture or BoM.

    This is not a product that people need to live and the price is being jacked up, this a fun product that a company designed and if they think people are willing to pay 1500 for it, that is what they should charge. I seriously doubt most people produce something on their own and think what is the minimum amount they could charge and still turn a profit... they think what is the maximum profit that they can make.

    I take it that you haven't made it to Econ 101 yet?
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    Even though I still very much disagree with the price of the final product, remember that the cost also covers R&D.
    Reply
  • Lord Darren
    Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.
    - Publilius Syrus
    Reply
  • Doug Lord
    It's not even worth $89. If you paid me $89, I still wouldn't wear it. Maybe if you paid me $1,500 I'd wear it for a few days.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    A large chunk of the R&D is common across all Android platforms, another large chunk of the R&D will carry over to future product lines, some of it on the software side may get back-ported to past product lines, etc. so a huge chunk of the R&D costs can be amortized on a pretty broad time frame spanning past, present and future well beyond a single product line.

    The $1500 price tag on Glass only makes sense if Glass was intended to be a one-shot thing with no future or "only for the rich kids" item. At this point, Google Glass is still little more than a concept field-test with only a few thousand devices in the wild. A mass-produced run (millions of units without Google's currently abusive restrictions on Glass) would be much cheaper.
    Reply