Google’s clearly put a lot of time and effort into the development of Google Glass – it’s rare we see products linger for so long in this seemingly-ready-to-launch mass-testing phase before a more traditional start to commercial sales. As such, it’s pretty clear Google has invested a lot of money in Glass, and that’s something we see reflected in the headset’s $1500 price tag. Presumably, we’ll see that number drop significantly at some point, but how low could we hope for it to get? $1000? $500? A recent teardown suggests things could dip even lower, as estimates place an incredibly low figure on the cost to manufacture Glass.
With a dated SoC, limited RAM, and a display estimated to cost substantially less than the big, beautiful full HD panels that typically adorn smartphones, TechInsights claims that it may cost Google a mere $80 to build a Glass headset – including assembly.
Google’s already commented on the report, calling that dollar figure “absolutely wrong,” but declining to offer a correction.
Admittedly, this report claims to be an estimate based on an incomplete analysis of the hardware, but it may not be completely in the wrong ballpark; even if it’s off about the cost of quite a few key parts, we still might not be looking at hardware that adds up to more than $200.
Smartphone shoppers are used to dealing with pretty hefty markups, paying $600-800 for phones that may only cost $150-$250 to manufacture, but do margins more than double that size make sense for wearables like Glass? Someone has to pay for those R&D costs, we guess, but it remains to be seen what shoppers at large will put up with.