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.


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

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110 Comments

1. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

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

3. MrPhilo

Posts: 64; Member since: Feb 25, 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?

5. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 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?

24. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

30. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Why don't you tell that to comment 3? KKR!

53. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

54. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

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

57. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 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...

59. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

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

62. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

65. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 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.

110. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

Shut up. Nobody cares about CSK or cricket on this forum thread. PS: KXIP are the best.

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 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

34. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

29. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

50. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

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

61. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 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.

66. MrPhilo

Posts: 64; Member since: Feb 25, 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?

76. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

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

6. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

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

14. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 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.

15. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 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.

19. papss unregistered

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

71. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

109. DaMaster

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

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

112. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 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.

28. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 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.

33. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

wtf you chatting about hassoups. what a moron

38. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

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

51. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

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

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