This week publicly traded Snap Inc, the founding company of the incredibly popular media and messaging app Snapchat, announced to investors that it has officially recorded $40 million in losses due to their Spectacles product line.
The Spectacles are sunglasses that feature a built-in camera lens specifically designed to capture short videos that can be uploaded to the user’s Snapchat on-the-go. When not turned on, the Spectacles, which still run a hefty price of $130, essentially look like your typical semi-thick brimmed circular sunglasses, and although color options are available, design customizations are not.
Amid an already turbulent year on Wall Street which has seen the company’s share price drop to the $11-12 range, roughly half of what it was a year ago, Snap has stated that in addition to selling the product online, it will be distributing the thus far unsuccessful Spectacle glasses in high end department stores and specific vending machines throughout the London area.
Given the fact that information giant Google failed to reach a mass market earlier this decade with its Google Glass venture, which was discontinued in 2015, the fact that Snap’s Spectacles are not selling well shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
Nonetheless, Snap bet big on its glasses, and unlike the Google Glass, the lens on the Spectacles is tinted – a feature that in many geographic markets will become completely unnecessary and fashionably questionable.
It remains a head-scratcher as to why the price has yet to be lowered on the product. While only time will tell if Snap can turn its Spectacles sales around, the notion that the company has thousands of unsold glasses sitting in a warehouse somewhere is not one that will bode well with investors.