Google Delays Glass Until 2014
According to Computerworld, the wearable device will not see its wide release until next year.
After originally promising availability in 2013, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is now saying its Glass entry into the wearable computing space won’t happen until 2014 according to Computerworld.
The latest setback follows affirmation to Computerworld by inside sources in May at the Google I/O developer conference that the retail device would ship before the end of 2013. Beta (Explorer) versions of Glass were first made available in Feb.
Prior to the May developers' conference, Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt had said that the product would not be available until 2014. According to Computerworld, Schmidt told a BBC reporter in April, "It's fair to say there will be thousands in use over the months and there will be changes made based on feedback, but it's fair to say it's a year-ish away."
Responding to news of the apparent date change, Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead told Computerworld, "I'm pleased that Google has the discipline to hold Glass back until they think it's perfect." Moorhead added, "Typically, Google will throw products out before they're ready, like the Nexus Q. Glass is a new category of devices and it's important that it works well."
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at ZK Research said, "That's interesting, but not surprising. Glass has so much hype around it that it's more important Google get it right than get it out early or on time."
Given the combination of privacy concerns and many complaints that Glass isn’t a very attractive accessory, some analysts believe the delay may have more to do with marketing than any technical problems with the product.
Gabriel Consulting Group analyst Dan Olds told Computerworld, "Businesses have banned them preemptively and there have been lots of discussions about how this device impacts privacy.”
Olds added, "I think Google wants some extra time to figure out how to best introduce Glass and how to make prospective customers, and the people around them, feel more comfortable with the technology."
Although 8,000 Google Explorers paid $1,500 for the right to test Glass, The China Post reported in early August that the retail version would likely cost around $300. Researcher Jason Tsai told reporters that the display component, which accounts for the lion’s share of the total cost of materials, would run less than $35.
Tsai also told reporters, “We believe wearable devices will face the first wave of growth in the coming one to three years due to their innovative features, and will then experience a rapid growth in the next phase when the market becomes more mature.”
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