Despite the fact that we got our first glimpse of Google Glass in the spring of 2012, Google won't be launching the consumer version of its HMD until next year. Google hasn't talked much about its plans for the consumer launch of Google Glass. The company is still very much focused on the Explorer program, which was briefly reopened earlier this month. That hasn't stopped other people talking about the consumer release, though.
The China Post cites Jason Tsai, a researcher at the Topology Research Institute, as saying Google Glass is expected to cost $299 when it finally goes to market. Tsai says the display, which will likely be supplied by Himax Display Inc. because Google has a stake in the company, will account for the biggest share of the bill of materials. The display's price is expected to be between $30 and $35.
Google has said in the past that it expects Glass to cost about as much as a smartphone when it hits general availability. Right now, as part of the Explorer program, Google Glass costs $1,500 and is only open to a limited number of people. Once the product launches to the public experts predict that the market for such devices is going to explode. Back in April, IHS predicted that the global market for smart glasses could amount to almost 10 million units from 2012 through to 2016. Topology Research Institute expects similarly explosive growth for wearable devices in general. TPI says the wearable computing market will grow from $1.2 billion in 2011 to $18.3 billion in 2018. Indeed, rumors of Apple's plans for a smartwatch as well as Sony's Smartwatch 2 (announced in June) suggest that wearable tech is on everyone's minds. It's been coming for a while, though. LG debuted its own wristwatch phone back in the summer of 2009. Even Motorola had Dick Tracy dreams.