Google Admits Glass Didn’t “Have The Impact We Hoped For”

Google announced it’s fourth-quarter earnings Thursday.

Google Admits Glass Didn’t “Have The Impact We Hoped For”
[Photo: Flickr user Marcin Wichary]

Google announced it’s fourth-quarter earnings Thursday with revenues of $18.10 billion–compared to analyst estimates of $18.46 billion. Overall, however, the search company did improve in several areas, including year-over-year revenue.


“Google’s full year revenue for 2014 was $66 billion, up 19% year on year,” said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google, “and this quarter, our revenue was $18.1 billion, despite strong currency headwinds.”

The headwinds Pichette are talking about include inconsistent foreign exchange rates that cost the company $541 million more than the previous quarter. Google also made note of problems getting its newest phone, the Nexus 6, to market and real estate write-downs which were “unusual”-ly expensive for the quarter.

Part of the bad news also included a 3% decline in the average cost-per-click year-over-year (also down 3% from the previous quarter). That means per-ad prices are decreasing. The good news is the number of ad clicks are up, so the company is still increasing its reach and people are still clicking ads–a core piece of Google’s business.

Message on Google Glass webpage | Click to expand

One interesting piece of information that came to light was the admission that Google Glass–the company’s augmented reality headset–didn’t “have the impact we hoped for.” A nugget from Pichette gives a little more clarity to the project which just “graduated” from Google X Labs:

“In other cases, when teams aren’t able to hit hurdles, but we think there’s still a lot of promise, we might ask them to take a pause and take the time to reset their strategy, as we recently did in the case of Glass. And in those cases where a project doesn’t have the impact we hoped for, we do take the tough calls. We make the decision to cancel them, and you’ve seen us do this time and time again.”

On January 19th, Google announced that its Glass wearable device would turn into a standalone project and continue to be led by Ivy Ross. It was also announced that Ross would now report to Nest Labs’ Tony Fadell, who would take on overseeing Glass. It sounded vaguely promising at the time, but with these new comments from Pichette, it appears Glass may be getting completely retooled–if it ever makes it back.

About the author

Tyler Hayes is a Southern California native, early technology adopter, and music enthusiast.