What Raspberry Pi’s launch day tells us

Raspberry Pi, the $25 / $35 Linux ARM computer, launched yesterday, with 10k units through 2 distributors. The distributors were crushed within minutes, their websites down for hours. There is now just sign up forms to express your interest.

This did not surprise me. For months RP has been a topic of conversations in my tech circles. The statement is typically how many units you’d buy, not whether or not you’d buy one. The moment I can buy 3, I will. I’m hoping, but not entirely optimistic, that I can do that this year.

At $35 this is still $30 less than an ethernet connected arduino, which is impressive. It also makes me wonder if they are adding enough to their unit cost to actually cover the people it takes to make getting these units out to the public possible. Even at double the price, they would have more demand then they knew what to do with.

But I think a more important thing can be said from this, how mainstream the hacker/maker world has become. RP is a DIY platform, and lots of people want it. If they can ever get their supply chain to meet demand they will sell more units than iPhones. Just think about that for a minute. And every one of these running Linux, though every one of these doing something slightly different.

I hope the RP foundation fully embraces the Arduino model, their closest comparator, and make the hardware fully open as well. The community around RP will only be fully unleashed when everyone can manufacture these boards. Given the RP foundation’s goals, this should align very well. A version of these with GPIO would be incredible, because the closest thing is the Beagle Bone, which comes in at $90.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s