What you need to know
- A third-party estimate has revealed the cost Google paid for the Pixel Watch's materials.
- According to Counterpoint Research, the smartwatch costs $123 to build.
- Samsung and display maker BOE appear to account for the greater portions of the Pixel Watch's total cost.
Tech companies naturally jack up the retail prices of their products to make a profit, in addition to recuperating any manufacturing costs. Most of the time, they do it without blowing up the MSRP excessively, but a third-party estimate has revealed that this may not be the case with the Google Pixel Watch.
According to Counterpoint Research, the total cost of building the Pixel Watch is only $123. That's a huge profit margin seeing as the smartwatch costs $349 for a GPS + Bluetooth-only variant and $399 for the LTE model.
Counterpoint chalks up a major portion of that figure to the processor that powers the wearable device. This means that Samsung, which manufactured the 10nm-based Exynos 9110 chipset inside the watch, accounts for 20% of its cost.
Counterpoint notes that Google's first smartwatch uses a "high-performance processor to unleash the power of the latest Wear OS 3.5." However, the market research firm argued that the tech giant could have used a more powerful chipset, such as the Exynos W920 platform, if it wanted to provide a more seamless experience for users.
The Pixel Watch also includes a co-processor to improve power efficiency, and while this has made the device more feature-packed, it has also significantly increased its retail price, per Counterpoint. The two processors, along with the Kingstone 32GB+2GB ePoP memory, account for nearly 27% of the total cost.
In addition, the display department is also a big contributor to the cost, with BOE accounting for over 14% of its total. The display maker is the sole supplier of the Pixel Watch's 1.2-inch-diameter OLED display, which has a few marquee features like a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and a custom 3D Corning glass protection.
It is perhaps worth noting that the Pixel Watch retails in the same ballpark as some of the best Android smartwatches money can buy, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, which starts at $279 for the 40mm Bluetooth model and $329 for the 40mm LTE model. However, its hardware falls short of the competition, as some of its components are older than those found in rival smartwatches.
Despite a few missing features at launch, Google's dedication to the Pixel Watch is admirable. Regular software updates help to improve a device that was already regarded as one of the best smartwatches.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.