The consumer version of Google Glass should be priced lower, much lower

June 13, 2013

    Google Glass Vision

    If you were planning to buy a pair of Google Glass, but the $1,500 price tag was just too much for you to swallow, fear not, because it looks as if Google Glass will be released to consumers at a much lower price.

    After the guys and gals at Catwig performed a teardown of Google Glass, we began to realize that Glass wasn’t stuffed with little magical fairies shoveling coal into a firebox (we hope that no magic fairies were hurt in the making of Glass), but instead we saw that the components were fairly similar to those that we find on a smartphone.

    On the other side of the Glass

    On one side of the Explorer Edition of Glass we find a touchpad, which is used for interaction if you don’t want to use voice control. Beneath the touchpad we find one of the main circuit boards, containing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, a dual-core TI OMAP4430 CPU, 16GB of Sandisk flash storage, and Elpida mobile DRAM. On the opposite side is the 570mAh battery, which helps balance the device on your head.

    exploded-isometric

    Credit: Catwig

    In front of the battery pod is a bone conduction speaker, and the main logic board, which holds the display, a 5-megapixel camera and various other sensors. The display has a native resolution of 640 x 360, but Google did say that the display would be “the equivalent of a 25-inch HD screen from eight feet away”.

    If you’ve come to the conclusion that these specs aren’t exactly top of the range, you’d be right. But keep in mind that many of these components must be custom-made to fit the unique shape of Glass.

    $1,500 is quite a lot to pay for “low-end specs”

    Even then, $1,500 is a lot of money. So why is Google making early adopters pay so much for their Explorer Editions of Google Glass? Well the simple answer is that Google wants the Explorer Editions in the hands of people who are going to offer something to the Glass platform.

    Google wants the XE edition of Glass to be in the hands of people who will offer something to the Glass platform.

    By pricing an unproven, untested product at such a high price it makes sure that the only people buying Glass are those who are planning to develop for the platform and puts it out of the price range of a casual consumer.

    The people with the Explorer Editions of Glass are not regular consumers, they understand that Glass is a budding product, but if a consumer got this version of Glass and were fronted with a fledgling platform they’d be left with a sour taste in their mouths and it could even kill the prospects of Glass at a consumer level before it even had a chance to show off its full potential.

    How much do the components cost and what will it cost us?

    The guys at Forbes compared Glass to a low-end smartphone, giving us a picture of what Google Glass costs to make. A low-end Samsung smartphone costs $85.60 to build and would also have much larger battery. After adding in the cost of the microdisplay (which would cost no more than $30), the fact that some components must be custom made, packaging costs, and that Glass is being made in low volumes, the publication finds $200 as “a safe bet” for production costs.

    When Google Glass is eventually launched to consumers, we could see the price fall between $199 and $599. If Google wants Glass to be priced according to its Nexus range, then $199 is not totally out of the question, but something like $349 is much more likely.

    What price point do you think Google Glass needs to hit to be a success? Will consumers even want the device?

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    Comments

    • philnolan3d

      Considering Google said it would cost about the same as a high end smart phone I will agree with Forbes.

    • bytewise

      How do you say this is low spec when the Glass is the first of its kind. You simply can’t compare the latest smartphone specs with Glass. This is comparing Oranges with… well you know copycats!

      Of course Google would be mad to price the consumer edition at $1500 and except volume sales.

      • junhawng

        well the specs are low, it’s using the almost same specs as a GS3. Yes, does that mean the glass screen is $1000? I really doubt that.

    • Austin Eschweiler

      I think $349 would be too much for most people to adopt. $199 is cheap enough where people (myself included) could splurge and get one.

      • Skander

        That probably won’t happen – Yet.

      • Luka Mlinar

        I just see that this thing is not worth more then 199. How ever you put it.

    • rickneworleansla

      $250-$299 would be a good price. $199, even better.

    • Ian Huey

      $200 or under would seem to be a fair price for what you get :)
      It relies on a connection to a smartphone… why should it be the same price as one?

      • Luka Mlinar

        Agreed. I don’t get why everyone else has a hard time seeing this reality.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Considering what’s in it this thing should be priced 200 buck TOPS.

      • Trent Richards

        So you are saying that they should give it away?

        • Luka Mlinar

          How much do u think it costs to make this thing? It doesn’t have one third of the components a Nexus 4 has. Even there most of the cost went on the screen.

          • Trent Richards

            Well according to Forbes the cost of production should be right around 200.

            “A low-end Samsung smartphone costs $85.60 to build and would also have much larger battery. After adding in the cost of the microdisplay (which would cost no more than $30), the fact that some components must be custom made, packaging costs, and that Glass is being made in low volumes, the publication finds $200 as “a safe bet” for production costs.”

            • Luka Mlinar

              So you are quoting a guess?Nice one m8.

            • Trent Richards

              Um, I trust an expert analysis over some random persons comment on disqus. What science did you put into “Considering what’s in it this thing should be priced 200 buck TOPS.”?

            • Luka Mlinar

              Nexus 4 price and tear down of the glass article that was posted on this site not long ago. +taking into account the components featured in today’s Chinese no name phones.

            • Trent Richards

              So your own guess? Got it.

    • Guest

      300$-400$

    • Larkhillv

      $250-300, and I would think that Google would lean closer to $300. But who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us and price it between 200-250. That would be pretty sweet :)

    • 124qewr5asd@gmail.com

      I wear glasses from the first place. Does that mean that I have to take my G.G. to my doctor and change the lens? Is that even possible from the first place?

      • Adam Koueider

        Google is working on a Prescription glasses friendly version of Google Glass. We aren’t too sure how Google is going to accomadate them, so we don’t have a lot of info on that. If and when we do, we’ll be sure to report it on A.A

    • Seth Forbus

      I’d buy one for 199$ on day one. I’d buy one for 349$ on day one (I got an nvidia shield! :P). Anything higher and I’d personally still get it (Friends wouldn’t though). I’d just have to save up for it.

      • baldy

        $249.99

        • Seth Forbus

          Is that the price you want it at? Or the official price?

    • Lionel Thiha

      Since this is very new device, there will be huge R&D cost as well as retail and advertisement costs. If Google is not planning subside, Glass would be anywhere between $350 to 500. A fair price, if you ask me. But I would rather have $667 meta glass for its real AR functionality.

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