Since being unveiled at Google I/O 2012, the company has strictly controlled spread of Google Glass units. It launched an Explorer Program and gradually provided units to interested individuals, provided that they were U.S. residents and were willing to pay $1,500 for the privilege. Since then the company has greatly expanded the program by opening it up to Play Music All Access subscribers and even allowing friend referrals. If a latest report is true, then for one day Google may allow anyone in the U.S. to purchase Glass.
A leaked slide obtained by The Verge shows that on April 15th at 6 am PDT Google may announce a limited time expansion of the Explorer Program. It is imperative to note here that this doesn’t mark the start of Glass’s public release. Its classified as an expansion of the program in the slide, which aims to put units in hands of as many people as it can. A free frame or shade may also be included with the purchase.
Just because its opening up the floodgates for one day doesn’t mean Google won’t charge you anything. Its mentioned in the slide that the purchase will cost the usual $1,500. Given the interest people have displayed in paying premium on eBay for a unit, its likely that Google may be able to sell quite a few units.
There are two reasons why the company might be expanding Explorer Program, albeit for one day. Google probably wants to get it out to as many people as it can in order to expedite testing and development prior to the public release. The company might also be unloading Explorer edition stock before the release. Since Explorer edition units were never meant to be publicly released, its highly unlikely that Google would have produced more units that it required, so it may very well be able to clear stock come April 15th. We still have to wait for official word from Mountain View though.