Google glasses go on sale in the US

Costing $1500 Google is making its Glass headset available to consumers in the US. The eyewear-mounted device will be available for as long as stocks are available, according to the Internet giant. The device is still at the beta development stage. Google, which made the device available to the US public for one day back in April, said that in opening up sales of the device it was looking for a more ‘open beta development’.

The company said that it was still working to improve both the hardware and software and did not put a figure on how many glasses it expected to be sold. The consumer version is expected to go on sales to the general public towards the end of 2014.

Google Glass comes with a stamp-sized screen mounted on the side of the eyeglass frames and is able to record video, access mail and retrieve information from the web by wirelessly connecting to a user’s mobile phone.

According to a teardown analysis by IHS hardware and manufacturing costs amount to just $152.47, but that doesn’t mean that Google is pocketing a margin of 90 percent on each Glass sale.

“As in any new product, especially a device that breaks new technological ground, the bill of materials (BOM) cost of Glass represent only a portion of the actual value of the system,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS. “IHS has noted this before in other electronic devices, but this is most dramatically illustrated in Google Glass, where the vast majority of its cost is tied up in non-material costs that include non-recurring engineering (NRE) expenses, extensive software and platform development, as well as tooling costs and other upfront outlays. When you buy Google Glass for $1,500, you are getting far, far more than just $152.47 in parts and manufacturing.”

Google Glass carries a BOM of $132.47. When the $20.00 manufacturing expense is added, the cost to produce the head-mounted computer rises to $152.47.



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