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June 13, 2013

OK, Glass. You’re Overpriced, Forbes Says

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glass_photos4What’s inside Google Glass? Nothing worth $1,500, says one report.

According to a Forbes article, Google’s pricey glasses are pretty “unremarkable” when disassembled, and aren’t worth more than $500 — just one-third of Google’s current asking price.

“…It seems probable the $1,500 price paid by early adopters will be a distant memory when Glass gets its mainstream release next year. A price below $500 is likely; $299 doesn’t seem out of the question,” claims Forbes.

Google Glass, which is currently still in Beta testing, has already sold more than 8,000 of the wearable devices capable of recording video, snapping photos, acting as a GPS and performing Internet searches, all hands-free.

Forbes’ article was prompted by a third-party investigation by Catwig, a group of technology buffs who literally tore apart a pair of the glasses and posted their findings.

What they found were parts similar to those used in Smartphones — a camera, a touchpad, a circuit board, a speaker and a battery, put simply. The full teardown can be viewed with pictures, here.

Overall, Google Glass isn’t worth much, says Forbes. A quick breakdown of parts indicates that Glass’ processor, memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, battery and sensors are comparable to a “low-end” Smartphone.

“.. It’s hard to imagine the manufacturing cost exceeding $150 and even if you account for the much smaller volumes of Glass versus a typical Smartphone, $200 seems an incredibly safe bet. That puts the build cost inline with a low-end Galaxy S4 or iPhone,” says Forbes, adding that Google likely hiked the price point in anticipation for the “most excited” consumers who were willing to buy Glass for $1,500.

Although Google hasn’t set a price point for the final product, chairman Eric Schmidt said early sales were targeted toward developers and a “few thousand” buyers that Google considers part of the pioneering development team behind Glass.

“We’re trying to get it into the hands of people who can build applications to show off the power of this sort of new invention,” he says in a YouTube video. “We don’t have an exact plan after that, but you should assume that it will take us awhile to … listen to the developer feedback.”

“It’s extremely early,” he adds. “Think of this as beta testing. Google beta tests for awhile and then we hopefully get it right.”

Google officially unveiled the glasses during its I/O conference last summer. At that time, the headset, which was controlled by head movements, had video and audio capability and a built-in compass and accelerometer. A lot of improvements have been made since then and, when Glass goes on the market in 2014, consumers can expect to see a lot of improvements and additions to the device.

To learn more about the functions of Glass thus far, click here.