Snap launches new Spectacles despite taking $40m hit on unsold inventory last year

Social media platform Snapchat's parent company doubled down on Spectacles with the launch of a new range despite its lack of success with the original which it launched at the end of 2016.

In its Annual Report, Snap disclosed a $39.9m (£28.7m) in inventory-related charges for unsold Spectacles. The report said the charges were due to "excess inventory reserves and inventory purchase commitment cancellation charges in the third quarter of 2017".

In the report, Snap also noted that Spectacles "has not and may not generate significant revenue" and that its inexperience with hardware products has led to these inventory-related charges and may also result in "increased costs in connection with the development, sale, and marketing of hardware". 

"There is no guarantee that investing in new lines of business, new products, and other initiatives will succeed," the report concluded.

Nevertheless, Snap has rolled out a new range of Spectacles in three new colours.

The updated Spectacles incorporates some of the most requested features – water resistance, improved microphones and photo mode. 

The improved design is sleeker and more lightweight and comes in three new colours. 

According to a Snap spokesman, the company decided to invest in updated products to keep the "Snap Camera as the 'most used' camera in the world". 

"Spectacles are a fun, hands-free camera for our community to experience today, and also help us learn and prepare for a future in which cameras help us 'live in the moment' even more," said the spokesman. 

The Spectacles are available today in the UK, US, Canada and France and will launch on 3 May in Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Spain and Italy. There was no information on a UK launch.

This new launch is the latest in a slew of products Snap has been rolling out recently. On 18 April it introduced shoppable AR lenses and yesterday it rolled out Snappables, lenses for playing augmented reality games on Snapchat.