IHS: Google Glass costs just $152 to make

|By:, SA News Editor

Though Google (GOOG +1.7%) has been selling the Explorer Edition of Glass for $1,500 (to those able to get hold of one), IHS estimates the display glasses cost just $152 to make ($132 bill-of-materials cost, $20 assembly cost) after doing a teardown.

Himax's (HIMX +5.4%) LCOS microdisplay is believed to cost $20, and Glass' titanium frame $22. A Texas Instruments OMAP4 CPU costs an estimated $8.85; with TI winding down its mobile processor sales, Google will likely go with another CPU supplier for future Glass models.

IHS' teardown doesn't account for non-manufacturing costs such as R&D, shipping, and marketing - a Google spokesman asserts Glass "costs significantly more" than $152 to produce.

Nonetheless, if IHS' component cost estimate is reasonably accurate, its teardown suggests Google might be able to profitably sell Glass at a sub-$300 price point following a full launch. While mass consumer adoption is still a question mark, plenty of businesses/institutions are showing interest.

Last week, Chardan Capital (citing Himax's LCOS production forecast) raised the possibility Glass' commercial launch could be a 2015 event. Himax is rebounding some from last week's post-earnings drubbing, thanks in part to a tech rally.