Google cashes in on Glass costs

Google’s $1,500 price tag for its Google Glass project might be just rampant profiteering as it only costs the outfit $80 to make.

A teardown published by said 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.

This $80 is much lower than a teardown which was carried out last year which revealed that the bill of materials for the device was at $208. Even accounting for the cost involved in customising the hardware to fit into the unique design of the Glass, the device would not have cost Google more than $250 to manufacture.

Google has always said that the $1,500 price for the Glass was to limit the device only to technology enthusiasts. It said 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.

But if the outfit is able to make them for $80 it means that it will still be selling the specs with a huge mark up.

When contacted, a Google spokesman called’s cost estimate “absolutely wrong”. While Teardown’s estimates might be too low it is fairly clear that the hardware is fairly cheap.

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, but still how much does it cost to make a pair of glasses?

The website does say that these figures were rough estimates, and that the numbers might change after a thorough review but we suspect that those who paid $1,500 are going to get a kicking from their significant others for wasting cash.