Google Glass could retail for $300 when it’s finally available to the public

Amanda Google Glass - 2

Everyone seems to have a opinion on Google Glass and there seems to be 2 distinct camps: those get off on the idea of having a computer strapped to their faces 24/7, and those find wearable computing altogether silly and/or useless. No matter what your opinion on Glass may be, there is one area we can all meet and agree Google really needs to work on before Glass could ever be ready for prime time — that insane price.

At $1,500, Google Glass doesn’t come cheap. When Google first allowed I/O attendees to sign up for the Explorer program, there were many who saw the exorbitant pricing as a way to deter the casual user away and get Glass into the hands of developers who would hit the ground coding. And for the most part, this made sense.

A few months later, Google was ready to move onto their next phase and began a huge marketing push, opening up the Glass Explorer program to ordinary folk who wanted to do extraordinary things with Glass. This was done through the #ifihadglass campaign in which many of the selected entrants were surprised to find they had simply won the opportunity to purchase Glass, $1,500 and all. Needless to say, many passed on the “opportunity” and it was only higher-profile celebrities or TV personalities that had the disposable income to afford Google’s fancy new headset.

As many of our readers know, Phandroid has been in possession of Glass for months now (you can read our in-depth review here). Throughout this entire time, I’ve been able to weigh in my own mind Google Glass’ worth, considering everything from hardware, to build materials, and functionality. While nobody expects Glass to launch in the Play Store for above $1K, I’ve often told those who’ve asked that if Glass launches for anything above $300… to pass. Simply put, I can’t justify paying more than that given everything Glass offers.

Imagine my surprise to find an article in the China Post discussing the pricing of the Google Glass consumer version, expected to launch as early as later this year. A researcher by the name of Jason Tsai from the Topology Research Institute told reporters that he expects Glass to retail at a fairly reasonable $300 price point when the device is finally ready for the mass market. According to Tsai, the most expensive component inside Glass is the device’s display component, which he estimates to cost Google around $35. You may remember it was back in July that Google announced their purchase of a 6.3% stake in Himax Display, manufacturers of LCOS chips that will likely be used to manufacturer Glass’ display unit.

For those of you who had your Android hearts set on Glass but needed Google to work down the $1,500 pricing, is $300 sounding a little more digestible to you? Were you expecting more? Hoping for less? Curious to hear your thoughts.

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  • Mitchmoney

    for $300, it is probably the most reasonable price. If they want every person to have one on their head, that is probably the price point (if not lower) to get one on every face

    • bob

      $300 will NEVER put one of these on everyone’s face. I’m a huge techy and I probably wouldn’t more then play with one for a day or two and that’s only if it didn’t cost me a thing. I could see it generating decent sales at maybe $150-199. $300 will never fly as a mainstream product though.

    • TheScientists

      Have to agree w/ Bob. While $300 is probably a fair price for the components inside, it’s still not a ‘mainstream’ price. I think it has to get to $199 before it sells in any meaningful volume. People who are on the fence aren’t going to fork over 3 big ones for a device they are not fully compelled by.

      • Nick V

        I agree with you, and that’s why those who can’t afford the initial product should wait until we, who can, are wearing Google Glass 3GS

  • Corey0928

    Would buy one in a heartbeat for $300

    • Scott Stafford

      I’m pretty sure I’d be unsuccessful and resisting.

  • scoter man1

    Maybe I’m the only one here, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. So, no. It is a good price though.

  • PhineasJW

    Chris, now that the novelty has worn off — how often do you wear Glass?

    At $299 they would probably capture a decent audience. At $499, you can probably divide their units sold by 4.

    Side tech-issue: Has Glass started taking advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 yet? I know battery life has been a major issue…

    • Josh Brown

      I noticed a sharp difference in battery life after updating my Nexus 4 to 4.3. The only possible culprit is Bluetooth LE.

      • Covert_Death

        sooo better or worse batter now that you are on 4.3?

        • Josh Brown

          Glass lasts twice as long. Negligible impact on phone’s life.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I rarely wear my Glass but mostly because I get insane migraines. My head is too big, and i think it’s squeezing the sides of my head too much :/

      • idongacha

        can you wear it on roller coasters?

        • miso_sori

          You mean his big head might prevent them from falling off?

      • Rdfry

        Chris you need to be more humble then.

      • Nick V

        If the device wasn’t giving you such and ego, would you continue to wear it? :)

  • Mark

    I’d want the ability to try it some before buying if possible. While $300 would be more reasonable, I can’t think of a place to use it currently with what I know about it and its functionality.

  • shadowslash

    I would buy it at launch for under $400, so yes. It would replace my smartwatch and does so much more.

  • miso_sori

    I would buy at $300 in a heartbeat as I’m sure many would. Ultimately, I think the bottom line for it to be hugely successful though is they have to get it working with the play store. Without a substantial developer base it will never be on every face and I doubt that will happen without play store compatibility. This is the biggest roadblock I see to their success, with battery life coming in second.

  • Cory Skelton

    $350 or less, and I will bite.

  • andrew borrelli

    Yeah sure I believe this rumor… Just like the Moto X was suppose to be 300! I’ll believe it when I see it…

  • Nate595

    At $300 it would be another success for Google similar to the chromecast Imo

  • Max

    I can see it launching between $300 and $500.. Google should charge as much as possible, there has been so much hype they have tons of early adopters, by charging more they will recoupe a lot of r &d cost. plus there is no reason to price it cheap initially, the components will probably be in short supply and having too many orders will result in massive backorders. I think only people with bluetooth le will enjoy them anyways. also the play store should be separate, apps aren’t going to translate well without customization. also i could see the explorer editions being like the cr48 and the real customer ones having way better specs

  • Dan Sabau

    in Europe they’ll make that 300 Euros, which is about $400. so… umm… probably not :(

  • Krishawn Smith

    I seriously would pay up to $499 for a pair of Glass. It is what it is, they are amazing and the future of technology.. Mine as well get in now. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. :-D

    To further my opinion, for it to be enticing for this to exist, there has to be a reasonable price tag on it. Granted a lot of Android users appreciate the lower cost, if Apple (I can’t believe I’m comparing this to Apple right now) were to market it, they would price it even higher. And the sheep would buy.

    Basically, what I’m saying is I’m willing to pay a little more for something that premium, even in it’s first generation because I want the tech to proceed forward and get better / more reasonable etc.

    It makes sense. I promise.

    Either that or I’m a glutton for punishment and just want Glass…

  • DavidVarghese

    Hopefully they can also get it working with prescription glasses by the time it hits public.

  • supremekizzle

    I like the IDEA of my life being interesting enough for glass. Thing is, it’s not. It would end up being a novelty item for me that I would never use because my phone is always available. The ONLY thing that I could see myself using it as is a go pro replacement. Even then, I’d rather have a higher res camera. I’d use a smart watch all the time though ;)

  • samster11

    Google will probably only make 300 of them and we’ll all have to wait months constantly refreshing the play store…. installing apps that poll the play store on our behalf.

    (No I’m not pissed off that Google seemed to think that only making a few thousand Chromecasts was enough…. I’m happy waiting MONTHS… not! ;-)

    • Max

      It sucks that you didn’t get one, you can always try bestbuy. I got one and honestly its very beta, if its any consolation when you finally get yours, us early people will have ironed out most the bugs and a lot more apps will run on it. The final api for developers still hasn’t been released yet, so as far as I’m concerned this is officially a public beta test. They should have been a little clearer about that, although to be fair they did only announce it at a developers/media only breakfast.

      Once again this is the point I’m trying to make, google has always been about letting consumers in early on betas(gmail). so you cant beg to be let in and simultaneously be annoyed that something isn’t perfect. Let glass fully brew before we serve it to the masses.

      sry for the long post.

    • Nick V

      I am not sure why you were down voted. I love Google Products, but hate that they do these tiny introductions, and we have to suffer. I am waiting form my chromecast, and I hope it is everything it is being touted to be. took me almost a month to get the Nexus 4. Drove me nuts.

      • samster11

        I’d love to know why I was down-voted… I love ordering stuff from play..i just wished they managed stock levels better that’s all…

        • Nick V

          I know why google does it, and I truly believe that this will change in the near future. When Google is developing a new product that is new to the market, they do not want to spend money on something that may be a failure.

          The Nexus 4 – Google had never had the level of interest in a Nexus phone before, and they were going to be taking it to the next level. They wanted to be certain.

          The Nexus Q – Need I say more? :)

          The Nexus 7 – This was their first foray into the tablet market, and they were leery. The 2nd gen N7 is available everywhere, even though the 32GB is harder to find.

          Chromecast – A new device that google has no idea will impact the consumer.

          Google Glass – This is them doing it right.

          I hope that Google stays on course, and the next Nexus 10 and 5 will be more available on the first run than previous. I think in order to make the new N10 successful, they first need to get rid of Samsung, and go with ASUS or Moto (if Moto does a new design), and they have a keyboard dock. I think all devices using a moble process from here on out, should use the X8 (if it is determined to be what is expected), and create the best of the best every time.

  • Dan

    300 is a pretty good price, but I can’t imagine when I’d be using this device. I’d probably pass even if it was 150$, just have no use for this.

    • samster11

      Wait until you have kids…. I’ve had so many opportunities for some great snaps but I’ve had both hands full….

      • Dan

        yeah I can imagine, but would you have the device on you all the time? The moments you are referring too are most likely not expected. If they make google glass contact lenses… then I’d be on board lol

        • Scotsman of Loch Ness

          I take waaay more pictures with my cell of my kids than i would if I had to go searching for a camera. I upgraded my phone just so that I could have quick access to the camera from the lock screen.

  • Nick V

    For $300 I would have no problems buying it. I know that it isn’t what we all think about when we see these on the movies, but I am hopeful that Google would continue to update them for as long as possible. And please, keep the carriers out of my Glass.

  • hideeho100

    There is a reason people wear contacts. So I would never have to wear glasses again. I will wait for “Google Contact”, or a $50 price point.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      And there is also a reason why people choose to wear glasses over contacts. fashion, quicker, less irritation.

      • Scotsman of Loch Ness

        and then there are some that will choose to wear contacts so that they don’t have to have glasses under their Google Glass. ^_^

        If i can come up with the 299.99 + tax & S&H for gGlass for me, I will be one of the above.

  • http://www.baldypal.com/ BaldyPal

    SOLD!

  • chris420o

    Honestly….i want to like glass and i loved the idea from the get…but…honestly there is nothing glass provides that justifys wearing something on your face all day…its not always on…its not a top quality camera…and its not augmented reality…so what is it really? its an extension of your notification tray and google now which you could access by puling your phone out of your pocket…i dunno, i mean if it had augmented reality i could justify it…but in the end its just a second display for your phone, albeit a cool one

  • joefresco

    I figured it would be 499. $300 is interesting. I will probably pass anyway, but it is interesting, and it would mean that I will know people who will have it.

  • Joseph Edouard

    If the most expensive component cost $35 then Google glasses should be priced at around 150 dollars, seeing as they want to get Google glass into everyone’s hands, and they should price designer versions at 300 to 350 dollars such as ray band etc…

    • TheScientists

      I would guess the cost of components is around $200. It’s basically a Galaxy Nexus in a different form factor. So, $300 is probably a fair price. I could see GOOG cutting the price on the Play store after a few months if the sales aren’t so hot. I would probably bite at the $200 mark.

      • blueyedsoul1

        Total cost of the components is probably under $100. Don’t forget, these things don’t assemble themselves.

      • Scotsman of Loch Ness

        I too would probably bite at the 200 USD price. If parts are 200 (for mass production), they still have to pay for packaging, documentation, labour, profit, and probably a bit to back-fill the R&D cost.

  • bitflung

    for $300 i’d by 2 – one for me and one for my wife.

    with a newborn in the house, we’d likely make great use of glass for taking pics of the spontaneous hilarity that ensues every time our hands are full of other things (like diapers).

    at $1500 i couldn’t justify buying even just one pair. that money could buy a lot of baby stuff, and babies sure do need a LOT of stuff!

  • simpleas

    Too bad i wont wear one in public, ROFL just thinking about it makes me laugh. im sure there are many good uses tho.

    • Cesar Ortiz

      I’d be to afraid someone is going to steal it in public knowing full well what it is.

  • HeatFan123

    Ironic thing happened last night before this article. I was talking to a family member and told them about the product and felt like it would retail for $500. If it is $300, even more value for consumers.

  • remister

    Brace yourself, if it is going to retail for $300, the internet might shut itself out. Thanks again Google!

  • InspectorGadget80

    What a AWESOME PRICE will be buying it day one.

  • hemipw54

    $300 is still way to high for a limited usage bluetooth device, $100 tops.

  • Martin Szymczak

    Tech gimmick that diminishes your humanity. No thanks. I’ll take in the world the way mother nature designed it for me.

    • Word Smithington

      Mother nature sure did great with the internet you are using didn’t she?

    • Renaud Lepage

      Then you’re going back to the caves and hunting wabbits and deer with rocks?

    • No_Nickname90

      Rain, sleet, hurricanes and ice pillars. Enjoy your ice age.

  • +Jack

    $300 is well worth it for this amazing piece of hardware. I for sure wouldn’t be ashamed to wear it in public, I would be proud!

  • steveb944

    Shoulda made a poll. As for me $300 is great! I’d honestly consider it at max $500 with some kind of incentive like more Drive space, etc., but $300 is insta-buy.

  • Chris Brown

    As long as its sub-$500, I’m planning on buying it…if I can get it. I fully expect a run on this new product and limited supplies at least through the holidays and Q12014.

  • ZeroFactorial

    Sub-500 here was the plan all along. This is TERRIFIC news!!!

  • No_Nickname90

    WHAT!? That means everyone can get them and I don’t have to worry about getting jumped because I have them. LoL!!