Total Materials Cost For $1,500 Google Glass? $79.78
TechInsight’s Teardown.com did the dirty work, and they found that the most expensive part was the Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor ($13.96). Glass also has 16GB of Toshiba EGW1 64G NAND memory ($4.68), 512MB of SK Hynix mobile DDR2 SDRAM ($8.18), a 5MP camera ($5.66), and a 570mAh battery ($1.14).
The full list is quite interesting, but as the teardown is brief and the prices approximated (a more in-depth teardown is forthcoming), there are some questions the list raises. For example, the display is listed at a cost of $3. That seems off; technically, the physical materials used in the display may only cost $3, but we can’t imagine that price reflects what it costs Google to get that specialized display made.
A Google spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the cost estimate was “absolutely wrong” and provided no further commentary, so for now we’ll have to take TechInsight’s findings with a grain of salt, but even if this breakdown is way off, it’s a long jump from $79.78 to $1,500.
It’s true that the company has sunk mountains of money into R&D and manufacturing for this pioneering project, so a markup--especially at this still-experimental phase--is certainly expected, but at some point in the near future Google may need to publicly justify that $1,500 price tag.