Google Glass has to be one of the most widely followed consumer electronics product launches since the first iPhones. After months of waiting, anyone can buy it, if Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has the product in stock. Since demand almost certainly will outstrip supply for some time, the announcement could be a short-term disappointed for people who will have to “stand in line,” at least metaphorically.
In a blog post, the Google Glass team wrote:
Last week we told you we’d be trying out new ways to find Explorers. Well, we weren’t kidding. We learned a lot when we opened our site a few weeks ago, so we’ve decided to move to a more open beta. We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand: google.com/glass
We’re ready to keep meeting new Explorers, and we can’t wait to hear all your experiences and feedback to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.
“Explorers” seem to be little more than people who would like to own the Google Glass device.
READ MORE: The Most Misleading Product Claims
Google sells Glass for $1,500. According to several media reports, the cost of materials used to build the products is about $80. However, the market for “wearables” is still being tested in terms of consumer demand. For a company Google’s size, Google Glass sales are not likely to affect its P&L much.
Ultimately, because of these P&L implications, Google Glass is not very important to the company. The search company has moved into and out of hardware businesses, including tablets and its Motorola handset debacle. If Google Glass is highly successful, it is more a sign of a lost opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung than a tremendous new revenue line for Google.