Google Glass costs $1500 for the early adopters known as “glass explorers”, and is certainly not reasonable for retail customers. Teardown.com has managed to take apart the Google Glass and the estimated cost of parts total to just $80!
The teardown revealed that the most expensive component is the TI OMAP4430 processor, costing around $13.96. The total value of parts comes to around $79.78. While this is just an estimate, we get an idea how much it takes to manufacture the Google Glass.
|Display/Touchscreen and glass||$3.00|
|Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope||$10.79|
|NAND – 16GB||$8.18|
|SDRAM – 1GB DDR2||$4.68|
|Processor – TI OMAP4430||$13.96|
|Assembly and test||$2.15|
Now, you might wonder why has Google priced the product so high. Are they keeping a very high margin even higher than Apple and Samsung? We need to keep in mind that the cost of making a product doesn’t just involve the manufacturing cost but also significant amount of expenses are made on R&D which are sometimes much higher than the actual cost of parts. Project Glass has been in research since more than a year now and all the engineers involved in the project are not working for free, Google is paying hefty salary to them.
Even if we consider R&D costs, $1500 price tag doesn’t seem justified. We need to understand that Google Glass is a non-commercial product currently and is only available to limited number of people known as “Glass explorers” who are helping Google improve the product with their feedback and suggestion. Google might have kept a hefty price tag to ensure that only hardcore Glass fans and tech enthusiasts get their hands on the product and are loyal to their job of helping Project Glass. Google expects to lower the price to less than $500 when the product gets a commercial launch.