Google Glass might not even cost $100 in bill of materials, according to a new teardown analysis.
A Google Glass teardown from last year revealed that the bill of materials for the device was at $208. Even accounting for the cost involved in customizing the hardware to fit into the unique design of the Glass, the device would not have cost Google more than $250 to manufacture.
At the time, it was believed that the $1500 price for the Glass was to limit the device only to limit access of the device to technology enthusiasts. Google has mentioned last year that a consumer version of Glass would launch later this year, although the price of this device wasn’t mentioned. Considering it comes with similar hardware as the current iteration, it should be around the $300 – $350 mark.
However, a new teardown published by Teardown.com mentions the $200 BOM quoted from last year were too high, and that the hardware used in the Glass amounts to a mere $80. The CPU, a TI OMAP 4430, was the costliest item on the list at $13.96. All the wireless sensors as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios combined accounted for $10.79, while the 5 MP camera was valued in at $5.66. The touchscreen display was said to be one of the costliest components in the Glass, but Teardown’s analysis revealed that it only costs $3.
The website does say that these figures were rough estimates, and that the numbers might change after a thorough review. When contacted, a Google spokesman called Teardown.com’s cost estimate “absolutely wrong.” While Teardown’s estimates might be on the lower side of things, the underwhelming hardware on the Google Glass does bring into question the high cost of the device. With a product like Glass, it is not always down to the cost of the hardware that is included in the device, as other factors, like design, build quality and software features should also be taken into account.