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Is Google Glass really only worth $80?

Tech site Teardown broke down the product piece by piece.  


EJ Dickson


Posted on May 2, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 9:24 am CDT

A few weeks ago, Google put Google Glass on the market for one day only, selling it to the general public for around $1,500 per pair.

But TechInsight’s’s business, which dissembles and analyzes consumer items, says that the actual value of a pair of Google Glass is significantly less than that: around $80, or approximately the price for a three-course dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory (mudslides included). 

According to the post from Teardown, the website nabbed a pair of Google Glass during the company’s one-day-only sale April 15. After dissembling its components, it estimated that its battery was worth only about $1.14, while the actual glass was worth around $3. The most expensive component was the actual processor, estimated at $13.96.

When Teardown added up the individual components of Glass, the total came out to $79.78, or a little bit more than 18 times what Google charged for a pair. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs:

Chart via

Teardown acknowledges that its numbers are just a rough estimate, so we should obviously take them with a grain of salt. Furthermore, it’s important to note that Teardown’s analysis excludes all of Google’s other expenses for developing the product, such as research, design, and marketing costs. (For its part, Google vehemently denied the Teardown post, with a spokesperson for the company telling the Wall Street Journal that the estimate is “absolutely wrong”).

But if Teardown’s estimates are even in the ballpark of what it actually costs to make Glass, it means that Glass’s detractors, who’ve criticized the product for its ludicrous design and its potential privacy violations, have even less incentive to use the product than they had before.

H/T Betabeat | Photo by Ted Eytan/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: May 2, 2014, 11:54 am CDT