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IHS: Google Glass costs just $152 to make

  • 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.
Comments (13)
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3927) | Send Message
     
    Quark maybe?
    12 May, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2577) | Send Message
     
    More smoke its been two years since the Glass announcement where is this vaporware?
    12 May, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • sses
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    1000% profit! Is there a limit to greed?
    12 May, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Yokyok
    , contributor
    Comments (325) | Send Message
     
    a more appropriate name for it would be iSpy
    12 May, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2318) | Send Message
     
    Certainly a lot of avarice in the above comments. This will be a significant introduction in new technology, similar to a digital phone but likely to be in a much smaller market. Most companies would salivate over something 10% of the size of mobile phones.

     

    Glass has significant opportunities in science and medicine, military and manufacturing. Imagine going to Copenhagen and having a virtual tour guide in a city you know not at all. Ever been someplace and taken a stroll only to be a little unsure of where your hotel was when it was time to head back? Ot what were those directions again to the can't-miss restaurant your friend told you about?

     

    There is this whispered notion of glass being some 007 secret weapon and anyone buying that notion should think carefully about how existing digital cameras, phones and tablets already have that capability pretty well covered. Is that super secret document on your desk safe now? Just this am Herbalife reported finding listening devices in their CA headquarters. Phone conversations, obviously, are easy to eavesdrop upon. So if your personal or business security is poor, don't point to Glass with fear.

     

    Whether selling these for $1500 has been brilliant or greedy is up for grabs. There was never a shortage of applications for users and those that did take the plunge were eager and provided vital user data as for problems, new avenues to consider, and what performed best. They also had the value of being - in a roomful of techies - the coolest person around. Does someone with a $15,000 watch wear it because it keeps better time?

     

    Regarding the long time frame, Samsung sort of rushed their smartwatch to market and it showed. Most people laughed at it and were rewarded with more stylish and functional products from others. Google is partnering with Luxottica, the ridiculously pervasive glass manufacturer to bring these to market in a form factor that will make everyday customers smile with delight rather than look at a headpiece that makes the user look like a person who guides drones for a living.

     

    I have no particular interest in one myself but judging by the people who rarely can put their phones down or sulk when their earbuds are broken, there is a market.
    12 May, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • Sairey
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    While they may only cost $152 to make, we have to consider how much was spent during the research and development phase. I hear breakdowns similar to this in the pharma field and outsiders complaining drugs are sold for profit way above production costs. However, the amount of money that goes in to making something like this and all the projects that were tried and abandoned needs to also be considered.
    12 May, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2577) | Send Message
     
    The price isn't the problem, publicly announcing vaporware 2 years ago is, the only thing I care about is when will it ship to the general public and what is the final price.
    12 May, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (1843) | Send Message
     
    I'd argue that's the reason it'll be successful.

     

    Look at Microsoft - tablet and smartphone pioneer! They got there before the hardware and software was ready, which severely harmed their reputation and lingers like a noose to this day. Farewell Windows Mobile, and may you stay gone!

     

    -Mike
    13 May, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2318) | Send Message
     
    Mike

     

    If you enjoy movies you've surely seen prequels. Remember Star Wars? MSFT has often arrived late to the game only to outspend rivals and steal their features and eventually buy them a plot in the cemetery. See Netscape and WordPerfect for details.
    13 May, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Roy Manns
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
     
    The base cost is usually x 3 to arrive it real cost this will include R&D, G&SA, then that will usually be doubled to arrive at Interal List price but market research then may show that some consumers are willing to pay X more , some Y less
    That will then be the advertised price IMHO $ 1500 is a good starter price as novelty value and it ma y settle lower after 3 to 9 months on market
    It is not Greed it is market controlled
    12 May, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Smith AKA Big Foot
    , contributor
    Comments (75) | Send Message
     
    Yeah this looks like one of those new dangled things that will end up being stolen off you like a golden necklace or a new Iphone. You buy this thing and you will need to pay for 2 body guards & insurance for it.
    13 May, 04:08 AM Reply Like
  • Henry Ting
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The author of this article is absolutely clueless when it comes to product development. While he can breakdown the hardware costs, he failed miserably in not mentioning the development costs. There is tremendous resources needed for its development from software engineering to application design and marketing. Evidently this guy is so clueless and the sad part is he is able to write these stupid articles as if he knows what he is talking about.
    13 May, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • Henry Ting
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    IT consultant, but retired for thw last 13 years. Been around when Jobs was at Apples, and then booted out by John Scully. Stayed till he was booted out and left when Jobs came back. Yes, I've seen it all and reading these articles gives me the migraine when the clueless spread hot-air as if they know what they are talking about.
    13 May, 08:58 PM Reply Like
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