Last year, Snap Inc. introduced its first hardware product, called Spectacles. Not too long after the smartglasses were unveiled, the company sold them through pop-up vending machines in certain places. The limited and exclusive release proved to be successful such that Snap is now selling its video-recording Spectacles to more consumers. Starting this Monday, Snapchat Spectacles are now up for grabs online for $129.99. Ordering the smartglasses today would secure one with a pair that's due to arrive two to four weeks later.
Considering all of the fanfare that Snap gave to its heavily hyped Spectacles launch, the product is selling at a slower rate than many would probably guess. Onstage today at the Vanity Fair Establishment Summit, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel disclosed that the company had sold "over 150,000 units" of Spectacles sunglasses. Spiegel interestingly compared Spectacles sales to those of the original iPod, claiming that Spectacles had outsold the device. Spiegel also reiterated that the device was very much a first attempt at building out a hardware division at Snap that marries the companies software initiatives with custom devices. "Our view is that hardware is going to be an important vehicle for delivering our customer experience maybe in a decade," said Spiegel.
Though Snap has been hard at work adding new features like group video chats and "Harry Potter" Bitmojis, things haven't so rosy at the company as of late. User growth slowed down last quarter, Instagram continues to eat its lunch, and Snap's Spectacles division chief recently left due to recent restructuring efforts. Which doesn't sound too good, especially since the company just came out with the new, smaller Spectacles 2. And today, there's even more bad news. According to the Snap's second quarter earnings report, the number of daily active users have dropped from 191 million in the first quarter of the year, to 188 million. That's a drop of 2 percent, or 3 million users, since the last quarter, and marks the first time that user count has dropped in the company's corporate history.
A little more than three years ago, Google co-founder Sergey Brin introduced the world to Google Glass with a splashy demo featuring skydivers livestreaming their jump via the eyewear. The theatrical presentation was meant to showcase the rare vantage points that only a gadget worn on the user's face could offer, hyping the promise of Google Glass. But Google shelved the 1,500 gadget only a few years later. Widely panned as functionally unhelpful and visually dorky, Glass never reached mainstream adoption. From its flashy introduction to its sudden disappearance, the trajectory of Google Glass' rise and fall is a testament to the challenges that come with giving life to a new product category.
Snapchat Spectacles are almost nearly a year old and Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel just confirmed that they've already sole more than 150,000 units of the wearable. Spiegel also talked about the importance of Snapchat's hardware division and the decision to go public earlier this year. Yesterday, Spiegel spoke to author Walter Isaacson during Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in California. The CEO confirmed that Snap has sold "over 150,000 units" of the Snapchat Spectacles. Spectacles was first introduced by Snap in November 2016 and was the company's first move to branch out into making hardware products.