Google Glass Materials Cost $152, IHS Says

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Ben Fox Rubin

IHS Inc. this week came out with a new product teardown of Google Glass, saying the digital headset's hardware and manufacturing expenses total about $152.47--a small slice of the product's $1,500 price tag.

Still, IHS notes that these teardown estimates can be misleading, since the majority of the costs associated with many electronic devices--particularly Glass--can come from nonmaterial expenses, such as engineering costs, software development and tooling costs.

"When you buy Google Glass for $1,500, you are getting far, far more than just $152.47 in parts and manufacturing," said Andrew Rassweiler, an IHS senior director.

In late April, TechInsights's Teardown.com placed its cost estimate for Glass at an even lower $79.78.

For its part, Google in April called Teardown.com's estimate "absolutely wrong." A Google representative wasn't immediately available Tuesday for comment on IHS's estimate.

Google hopes to cut the cost of Glass, especially when the device is released for sale to the general public. Higher production volumes will likely help reduce component costs.

Glass has only been made available once to the entire American public--on April 15 of this year at the full price of $1,500. The product is otherwise available on an invitational basis.

IHS and Teardown.com both mentioned that Texas Instruments Inc. components are a major part of the Glass design. IHS said the semiconductor supplier contributed the apps processor, power management IC, audio codec, battery fuel gauge and regulator ICs, accounting for an estimated $37.90 worth of components identified so far in the product.

Write to Ben Fox Rubin at ben.rubin@wsj.com

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This article appears in: Technology

Referenced Stocks: GOOG , GOOGL , IHS , TXN

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