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Project Glass bill of materials reveals it costs just $80 to make what Google sells for $1500

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Project Glass bill of materials reveals it costs just $80 to make what Google sells for $1500

Google Glass is one of the most exciting, yet at the same time polarizing and controversial, projects by Google. Glass, a wearable heads-up display with built-in camera, processor and touch area, is not yet sold to the general public, but a select few developers can opt in (or get invites) Google’s Explorers program to try it.

Glass, however, is not free - it costs a pretty hefty $1500 to those early adopters and testers. What they might not be very happy to learn is that Glass is actually extremely cheap to make. The bill of materials for Google’s wearable is estimated at just $80 by Teardown.com, which took it apart and looked for the price of each part and added costs for putting it together.

Interestingly, the prism that acts as a display is said to cost just $5! Last year, another publication, China Post, suggested Glass could cost as little as $30 to make, but in either case, it’s clear that Google’s wearable is not all that expensive to make.

Project Glass bill of materials reveals it costs just $80 to make what Google sells for $1500

This means that Google sells Glass to developers at a whopping 95% margin, all other factors not accounted. Truth be told, though, Glass did not appear out of thin air. It’s a brand new category of a device (or at least will be, if it ever gets a public release) that took years of development and research. Those R&D costs are clearly not accounted for, and nor is the fact that being a developer device, $1500 could be treated as a cost to access to that platform, not just the product itself.

Moreover, a Google spokesperson has now denied all these estimates, calling them "absolutely wrong." However, the spokesperson did not provide any further clarifications or details.

We've actually heard speculations and rumors that when (and if) Google launches Glass en masse the price will be set at the much more manageable $600. Would you buy it then?

source: TechInsights

112 Comments
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posted on 01 May 2014, 05:39 29

1. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


i told you google is no different from apple or microsoft. but google fans cant accept the fact. in general fanboism is blind.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:43 28

3. MrPhilo (Posts: 48; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


Not really, the Nexus line for example. Apple margin is way higher.

Plus Google Glass isn't just about the 'materials', you know the software, the engineers, the designers etc, the countless time they spent making the Glass.

Not to mention this is for 'Developers', developer products have always been priced higher than consumers. So much for being 'blind' yeah?

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:45 25

5. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1457; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Was the iPhone also not "just about the 'materials', you know the software, the engineers, the designers etc, the countless time they spent" making the phone?

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:50 7

24. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Wait for the public release..then talk about it....

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:04 4

30. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1457; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Why don't you tell that to comment 3?

KKR!

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:00

53. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


He is saying the same point as me...
Btw good luck winning tommorrow's game against mighty CSK....
#returnofthepride #whitslepodu

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:03

54. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1457; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Hope their top order can do something. They always fail!

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:16

57. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Yeah...I'm big fan of gambhir...
In last match he showed some improvement....even if it's against my fav team...i want gambhir to score...

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:24

59. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1457; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Good to see him back in form. The rest in the team are a joke.

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:49

62. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Just think before you comment...
Kallis is not joke...he is best player in KKR camp...and naraine too is not a joke...

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:59

65. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1457; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


I'm talking about the top order. Kallis is good like once every five matches. They also need to hit more sixes. Lack of boundaries is a problem for them.

posted on 14 May 2014, 13:24

110. saffant (Posts: 229; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Shut up. Nobody cares about CSK or cricket on this forum thread.

PS: KXIP are the best.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:56

25. sgodsell (Posts: 1398; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


They are running the latest KitKat on Glass now as well. Why the author stated it was running on ICS 4.0.4 is beyond me. Unless he never updated his Glass all this time.
http://www.techradar.com/news/portable-devices/google-glass-update-runs-android-kitkat-fixes-battery-issues-1242526

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:14 2

34. sgodsell (Posts: 1398; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


I just carefully looked at the teardown cost list. I just love how they say the display/touchscreen & glass is only $3.00. Right there they lost credibility. Are you trying to tell people that the touch pad and the display screen is only $3.00. Yeah. Right. Complete BULL.
Also BB+XCR is a material item. But it is completely free in the world. The company's manufacturer it and make it free for everyone
Such a fabrication of made up lies.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:01 5

29. tech2 (Posts: 2355; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Yes most of these R&D cost recovers from the early stages of sales. That's why you find devices priced initially higher then 6 months down the line.

The same cannot be said about Apple. They've been milking the customers with the same design and same ios with marginal improvements for several years.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:53 1

50. Neo_Huang (Posts: 543; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)


Yeah, and many of iOS' recent improvements are copied from Android.

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:46 4

61. Finalflash (Posts: 1878; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


It's none of the conspiracy theories listed here actually, it's priced high so only those that really want it like developers and people who will send feedback (dedicated tech reviewers) can get it. Otherwise an army of frat boys would put it in back order and no one useful to the development of the device would get it. It's simply priced to keep the common public away for now while they refine it.

posted on 01 May 2014, 09:11 1

66. MrPhilo (Posts: 48; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


At first yes, when it was first realised, but now no. They do incremental updates. Plus it's true the margin is stupidly high.

You're missing the point anyways, this is a developer device not a consumer, hence the price. When has a developer kit been cheaper than a consumer?

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:07

76. sgodsell (Posts: 1398; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Anyone with half a brain will see that the prices are just made up.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:45 7

6. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


im sayin that google is not as innocent as its fans claim it is.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:56 7

14. sriuslywtf (Posts: 277; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Amen to that..

All company goals is to profit.. Plain and simple..

We have to respect Google for the price, Like we did with Iphone's initial release.

Look at google glass, I mean the product is a first of its kind. the amount of $$$ they put for R&D might justify its initial cost.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:06

15. ihavenoname (Posts: 1505; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Same (on smaller scale) with G-Flex. It's basicly big G2 with worse display, but the developing costs and work put to it justify the price difference (it's almost twice as expensive as G2 where I live). Same thing with Touch ID, Pureview cameras, 2K displays etc.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:22

19. papss (unregistered)


Wait so you are saying the price goes up 18.75 times the cost of the material? Nice justification

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:27 3

71. joey_sfb (Posts: 3132; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Yeah! I know. All companies need profit to survive. What I can't stand is Apple locking up so much money in their ivory tower. Not sharing much with other businesses. Not hiring enough people.

Basically benefiting a very small group of people.

Hey! More money being lock up means less money for the rest of us.

posted on 08 May 2014, 14:52

109. DaMaster (Posts: 33; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


yea Fk those money hungry mice. Didnt know they also didnt hire ppl

posted on 19 May 2014, 11:27

112. androtaku (Posts: 196; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


Apple is public listed company bro
if u invest in them u'll benefit from them the same way
you way of response pretty much show you have zero business knowledge.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:00 7

28. hassoups (Posts: 381; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


Let's face it, the glass is more overpriced than the iPhone, don't even try with those excuses because surprise surprise apple also does research.. What a shocker.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:09 1

33. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


wtf you chatting about hassoups. what a moron

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:35 2

38. hassoups (Posts: 381; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


Lol thanks buddy, good thing you were able to show your charm with your comment.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:54

51. Neo_Huang (Posts: 543; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)


Yeah, research on how to fool consumers into thinking that their products are worth their prices.

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:23 2

58. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


This is not retail version...
According to google retail version will cost as much as average smartphone...

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:08 1

32. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


wow dratomic just got owned.

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:03

55. joaolx (Posts: 362; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


What you don't pay for the Nexus you get the fact that Google keeps your info for ads, which is what google lives by.

posted on 02 May 2014, 00:19

92. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


If thats the case....there needs to be cheaper mobile devices everywhere...iPhones, WP, etc.

WP is cheaper....now Apple has to step up n do the right thing by offering cheaper iPhones.

Those 2 might not live by info for ads...by they profit off of your info too.

posted on 01 May 2014, 11:42 1

73. shadowplay (unregistered)


People just want free stuff and have such sense of entitlement. How many of you use Google's mail, maps, drive, etc?

If you don't like the price, then these are your options:
- Don't buy one.
- Buy from the competition.
- Build your own.

posted on 01 May 2014, 14:44 1

81. sswain (Posts: 50; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


software/engineering/design does not explain the massive increase; it's android-lite repackaged with eye tracking software mounted on glasses. just stop for a second and read that out loud.

they priced it high to keep out the garbage apps that's plaguing the play store. $1500 isn't that much to a company but prohibitive enough to keep away most of the garbage devs from dirtying their new toy.

posted on 05 May 2014, 02:47

104. preetmalhotra (Posts: 78; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


You are right #MrPhilo bro..

......Google Glass isn't just about the 'materials', you know the software, the engineers, the designers etc, the countless time they spent making the Glass.......

lol
Android is free of cost...even the base of iOS, Unix, is free!

No dount development takes effort!
Mind efforts, study, observations..
But, it depends on how much costly you sell your simple service just because you are not letting anyone elso to capture the ground!

Windows8 isn't more expensive than the hardware it is bein used in..
While the Linuxes are totally free!

Why Micromax, Gionee, OnePlus, Oppo etc can sell same hardware at half rates than big OEMs, and at one-third rate than Apple?
Just one reason..
Big players..Big Profits!!
Small Players..No Profit!!

now don't fight with me fanboys..
:P :P
:D
No offence!

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:45 1

4. Scott93274 (Posts: 1304; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I have to admit that I too thought that Google was being very Apple with their pricing of this product. That being said, it's not actually on the market. Very, very few people outside the development community actually have Glass. If it ever makes it to the Google Play story, maybe it'll drop $1,000+ lol

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:47

8. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


about that... its has been available in my homecountry for several months with a price of 4000$. and it has been selling quite well

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:52

12. Scott93274 (Posts: 1304; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


And what country is Google glass selling like hotcakes for $4000?

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:10

17. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


middle east

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:32 3

36. mickeygosselin (Posts: 15; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)


The middle east isn't a country.....

posted on 01 May 2014, 09:48 1

67. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


yes i know. i hate my home country which is iran. so i didnt want to name it. got it?

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:12

18. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


it has been available from six months ago

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:56

79. iLoveAmexica (Posts: 47; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


hey I didn't know iran people buy american products, and if I live in that dirt poor place, with $4000 I'd spend it on 40 thousand women lol jk

posted on 01 May 2014, 16:27

85. Scott93274 (Posts: 1304; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Easy now, I have family that are from Iran. And they're wonderful people. Though I'm still calling BS on the Glass being sold there.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:49 7

23. GreekGeek (Posts: 844; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


That's why they want to eradicate SD card/root functionalities in your phone to lure you into their cloud for max profit.

Google is just as evil as Apple

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:46

46. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Them going away from SD cards is also about a more stable device, faster device, less issues with security.

I dont like it one bit....but I understand some of the reasons why.

I guess some of us just see things how we wanna see them tho...

Just realized you said eradicate root functionality...thats not entirely Google ...thats more the carriers and probably the OEM's. How can that be when Google has the Nexus line and GPE devices?

Seriously...

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:07

56. techspace (Posts: 769; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


all the major android OEMs still support sd cards so that's not a valid reason.
i like my nexus 5 but i always feel that if it was made to take advantage of everything that android offers , then it should also have an sd card slot because android supports sd cards.

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:52 2

48. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1374; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


With devices like the Oneplus one , the Nexus line looks like a ripoff too , and thats why they are scrapping it in favor of the Android silver project

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:59 4

26. sipha (Posts: 315; Member since: 12 May 2012)


Ok, this clearly waayy over price.. But if on that alone is how today you decided its as bad as apple and microsoft..then you a hater!! For example you couldnt name me one other product over priced by google.. Because all of their products are usual free or extremely under valued!!

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:44

45. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Exactly..

posted on 01 May 2014, 09:51 4

68. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


google sells ads. do you think everything it does is free?! if so how could they make money for a living. remember nobody does anything for anybody for free.

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:33 2

78. sipha (Posts: 315; Member since: 12 May 2012)


The missing key point to your comment is who is paying for those ads?? & how do you know those ads are over priced??

posted on 01 May 2014, 14:18 1

80. SamDroid (unregistered)


That shut him up real good

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:59 1

27. shuaibhere (Posts: 1660; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


No...google is not like MS or apple...ever heard of nexus??? And project Ara(basic smartphone package for $50)????
This is just a bill of materials...this doesn't include years of R&D google spent in glass...
They have promised that the retail version will cost as much as a average smartphone...
So wait for public release...

posted on 05 May 2014, 03:16

105. preetmalhotra (Posts: 78; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


A 41 MP camera released by some company few years back had a 5 years of R 'n' D behind it, and was sold for just $200 and not $2000!!

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:32

37. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Right because....every .......Google product is marked up like this....

:/

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:50 1

47. techspace (Posts: 769; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


i like google but that's true...and that's the reason why competition is very important.

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:25 1

77. Dyalibya (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 May 2014)


I will admit to favoring google, But I believe that that price is set in place to prevent a large number of people from acquiring the device, I estimate the number of people who did get it to be very small, Any profits from them-Even at 1500$- would be marginal and would look like pocket money to a google CEO

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