Google Glass, which has been sold for $1500 to all the early "Glass Explorers," apparently costs about $80 in parts, if a preliminary teardown report is accurate.
Teardown.com recently posted its Google Glass teardown results after just recently getting their hands on the device after Google's one-day-only sale of the smart glasses earlier this month. And according to their breakdown, the components that make up Google Glass run the company $79.78. This includes a (kind of shockingly low) estimate of $3 for the display/glass, $1.14 for the battery, and $5.66 for the camera.
If correct, this would mean that only about 5% of the total price of Google Glass is represented in component costs.
A Google spokesman has responded to the report, telling the Wall Street Journal that teardown.com's estimate is "absolutely wrong," but that's all they would say.
Even teardown.com (a subsidiary of TechInsights) admits that their estimation is probably a little bit off. You see, this was a quick teardown–they're currently working on a more thorough component pricing estimate.
But an expert with the site told Ars Technica that he doesn't think it'll be too far off the $80 mark.
"If I had to take a guess, I’d say somewhere between $90-95 is where it’ll end up at," said Al Cowsky. "It could be a little lower, even."
Of course, even if Google was constructing Google Glass for less than $100 in parts, it doesn't mean you can chalk the difference up in the profit column. This is simply a components report, and fails to factor in research and development costs, as well as manufacturing. Those costs are a lot more tricky to pin down than parts.
But it does show that Google will probably be able to safely lower the price when Glass hits the wide market. $1,500 is a fine price for "Explorers"–those first adopters so eager to get their hands on the latest and greatest. But for your average person, who Google desperately needs to make Glass a true success, may have a hard time justifying a $1,500 pair of future goggles. If component costs are really that low, it's easier to believe Google actually has plans to make Glass more affordable for the everyday consumer.
But right now, it's not about the average consumer–it's still about the people willing to pay $1,500, the ones with supreme interest in wearable tech and the ability to be ambassadors. Let's have a toast for the Glassholes.
Image via lawrencegs, Flickr