Google Denies $1500 Glass Costs Only $80 To Make

Given the current price of $1,500 for Google Glass, how much could the tech giant make? A new analysis estimates that the actual materials cost just under $80, indicating the tech giant could really be raking in the cash. However, the powers that be at Google are contesting that as a low-ball figure, saying it simply isn't accurate.

The analysis was done by Teardown.com, part of tech consultant TechInsights. Teardown took apart the now-famous head peripheral. It estimated the costs of the constituent parts, including display, battery, camera, connectivity components, processor, supporting materials and other pieces, and added $2.15 for assembly and testing, plus $11.32 for "other." The final tally: $79.78. Teardown often conducts dissections of consumer devices.

Earlier this week, a Google spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that the Teardown.com estimate was "absolutely wrong." However, Google did not offer its own cost estimate.

Low Cost for Display?

The newspaper pointed out that Teardown's estimate of the display, touchscreen and glass -- $3 -- appears to be unusually low. In reply, the site said the $3 estimate was an initial first take, and it could change after more analysis. Teardown said its teardown was only partially completed, and that a more thorough analysis will be released in the near future.

Additionally, the cost of assembly may have been low-balled, especially since the device is built in California rather than offshore where workers earn extremely low wages. The teardown costs also do not include indirect costs, such as research and development, engineering, user testing, and so on.

To date, one expects that Google has not spent that much on marketing, advertising or distribution, since Glass has received lots of free publicity and has been sold to only a relatively small number of people who have applied to buy the device. But, eventually, those costs will...

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