Snap introduced the Spectacles more than a year ago, and since then the hype surrounding the pair of smart glasses has really cooled off. The product arrived exclusively in pop-up vending machines spread throughout the world before becoming available online in early 2017. With the pop-up vending machines, Snap was able to generate a ton of buzz as Snapchat’s users would go searching for the few places to purchase the Spectacles. But, when they reached general availability online, the appeal vanished. Snap’s still happy with the number of units sold in the first year, though.
There have been about 150,000 pairs of the smart glasses sold so far. Snap’s Evan Spiegel made the announcement during an interview with Vanity Fair this week.
The founder and head honcho revealed that, despite what you may think, the sales figure was well above the company’s expectations. Snap’s Spectacles actually sold better than one of the most popular technology products in history. In 2002, Apple sold in the neighborhood of 143,000 units of the iPod in one year. So the Spectacles outperformed the iPod in first-year sales, which can be seen as a victory no matter how small the number seems. Spiegel points out that the Spectacles are still early on and “so many things” are ahead for the product.
Spiegel also discussed Snap’s behavior as a public company after operating privately for five years. He said its been difficult explaining the long-term vision to investors, who were skeptical of the ability for Snap to be profitable. Communication, too, has been a challenge as there are certain things you can and cannot say as a public company.
Snap believes investors will come around. The fear on their end, according to Spiegel, is that the company still feels like a start-up. Snap will continue to “stay focused on the business this year” in order to bring investors better results through increased revenue and achieving profitability. It’s just unclear exactly how Snap will go about doing that. While the Spectacles haven’t taken off yet, Snapchat is losing users to Instagram and other platforms.