This is how much the Meta Quest 3 really costs to make

A Meta Quest 3 headset on the arm of a grey couch
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A China-based supply analyst firm named Wellsenn XR estimates it costs Meta about $430 to manufacture the Meta Quest 3.
  • This cost does not include R&D costs or long-term support costs, only the cost of manufacturing the components and shipping the headset.
  • The Meta Quest 3 retails for $499, meaning Meta likely takes a net loss on each sale.

When the Meta Quest 3 was announced, some wondered whether the $499 price was too high, considering the Meta Quest 2 launched for $299 just three years ago. Given that the Meta Quest 3 is 100% faster and more full-featured than the Quest 2, however, the price increase starts to make sense.

But how much does it actually cost Meta to make one of these headsets? According to China-based XR analyst firm Wellsenn XR (via UploadVR), Meta's total bill of materials sits right around $430 by the time it reaches store shelves.

While it sounds like Meta makes roughly $70 on each 128GB Meta Quest 3 — and likely much more on the $649 512GB model — the reality is that this estimate doesn't include the R&D costs it took to develop the headset. It also doesn't include the cost of support, and Meta provides a lot of software support for its headsets.

Meta Quest headsets get updates every single month. These updates include bug fixes, new features, and optimizations that put even the best phones to shame. All that support costs a lot, though, as Meta has to pay employees to research, develop, and test all of these software updates every single month.

The Google Play Store on a Google Pixel 8 Pro in front of a Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Breaking the cost down a little further, we can see that the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, which gives the Quest 3 such a huge graphics upgrade, makes up the biggest slice of the pie. This chipset, plus the cooling unit required to keep it performing without overheating, costs Meta roughly $151 for each headset made.

The next biggest piece is the new "4K+ infinite display," which is about $80, while the pancake lenses and the adjustable housing cost roughly $53. The cameras and sensors that enable great mixed reality content weigh in at $41, while the remaining $105 balance comes from the controllers, battery, speakers, mics, plastic housing, and the boxes and shipping cost.

All this to say that Meta almost certainly takes a slight loss on every 128GB Quest 3 sold, while it likely makes a bit of a profit on the 512GB model.

Meanwhile, the same report notes that Apple spends about $1,700 to manufacture the Apple Vision Pro. That means it's receiving over a 100% markup with its $3,500 retail price, so Apple makes a pretty penny on its first XR headset.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu