Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has revealed details about the pricing and the release date of its hotly anticipated Google Glass device.
A Google spokesman released the company’s details about the product to the Verge earlier today; the move was the company’s first clear indication of its plans.
Earlier today we looked at the possible implications of a wearable computer war between Google and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
According to the report, the company’s Google Glass device should be available to consumers by the end of 2013, and the product is supposed to cost less than the $1,500 the company is currently charging its early adopters for the wearable computer. Further details about the pricing, or the release date have not been released.
The information has, at the very least, given positive indications about the product to prospective customers. A $1,500 price target would not make a truly wide release of the product possible, and a release before the end of 2013 means that the wait for the product will not be too drawn out, though it’s already been almost a year since the device was first spotted in public.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is gearing up to make its first big imprint on the hardware market with Google Glass, but there are significant problems ahead. First of all the wearable computer’s innovative use is likely to make it difficult for most consumers to adapt early on. The device’s novelty is unlikely to make it a replacement for a user’s smart phones or their computers.
That means that the device’s cost will have to factor in to a more general consumer electronics spend, adding incremental time to upgrade cycles in exchange for consumer electronics dollars. At a likely cost of more than $500, and possibly more than $1000, the device will probably be out of the price range of most consumers.
That’s a real worry for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and the likelihood of making the product more affordable by selling a subsidized version on a data plan is unlikely to be a hit with consumers either. Many are already paying for DSL at home and mobile broadband on the go. A third data bill on top of those is going to be a hard sell.
Google Glass doesn’t fit into any current product category, so it’s difficult to make predictions about its reach and popularity. One thing is certain, however, most consumers do not have an extra $1000 lying around. At least today’s news gives some sort of indication of Google’s intentions. More is sure to follow, and soon.