Google purchases a 6.3% stake in Google Glass supplier Himax Display
If there’s ever been an indication that Google is about to ramp up production of their eagerly awaited Google Glass devices, this would be it – news has just broke that Google has taken a 6.3% stake in Himax Display, a key supplier of liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips and modules that are found in Google Glass. Responding to a a request for comment by TechCrunch, a Google representative has said that the decision was made “to help fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities.”
In a statement made by Himax Display CFO Jackie Chang, Chang claims that today’s announcement was made to allow the company to file necessary information to the SEC, and that they will not be discussing the specifics as to the exact worth of Google’s stake, which would be in the millions, though they did say that the agreement doesn’t rule out the possibilities of an increased investment by Google at some point in the future. Chang goes on to say the following of today’s announcement:
Google is a preeminent global technology leader. We are delighted to receive this investment and to form a strategic partnership with Google. Beginning the second quarter of this year, we had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for our LCOS product line. This investment from Google further validates our commitment to developing breakthrough technologies and state‐of‐the‐art production facilities. We look forward to leveraging this investment and our collective expertise with Google to create unique and transformational LCOS technologies for many years ahead.
Himax Display is riding high on the NASDAQ after today’s news, with the value of the company’s shares raising from its closing price of $5.17 last night to $7.00 at noon time today.
Google Glass has thus far entered the market in a very limited fashion, with Google only offering a first run of devices to qualified developers and “Glass Explorers” earlier this year. Google has yet to give Glass a specific availability date or price point, however Glass has thus far been offered to those early users for a hefty $1,500. Increased production volume should lower that price by a considerable margin however, with recent reports suggesting that the production Glass models may retail for significantly less.
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