Google's Glass cost only $80 to build, so why does it cost $1500

A new study shows that Google Glass is comprised of about $80 in parts, so why does Google mark it up several hundred percent for retail sales?

1 minute & 3 seconds read time

While Google Glass has been regarded as a major advancement in wearable technology, the general public has been, for the most part, hesitant to purchase a pair of Google Glasses themselves. While I am sure that there are thousands of early adopters, techies, and trend followers who have dived head first into the world of Glass, the $1500 price tag makes it very hard for many consumers to swallow, including myself.

Google's Glass cost only $80 to build, so why does it cost $1500 1

According to new estimates, Google Glass is only comprised of about $80 in components which leaves one to wonder why exactly the new technology is worth the $1500 premium that Google has placed on it. Now before anyone jumps on me, I am sure that manufacturing, packaging and marketing cost are factored in as well, but at tops, I see Glass being worth only about $350-500. I also get that Google needs to recoup some of the R&D cost on Glass, but even then a $550-700 price tag would see fair.

Google's Glass cost only $80 to build, so why does it cost $1500 2

When broke Google Glass down piece by piece, the company itemized each part and figured out the fair-market value on each component. Looking at the bill of materials below the most expensive piece of the whole device is its processor, coming in at $13.96, and the next highest component being the non electronic parts including the frame and such which accounted for an additional $13.63. Overall the entire list comes out to just under $80, and assuming that Google orders these parts by the tens of thousands, I am willing to bet they only pay about $50-60 per Glass device they ship.


A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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