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Shipping isn't free, I don't see how it's wrong to exclude that from the $5.

Nobody is selling to for $5. Adafruit sells it for $10 excluding shipping, ebay sellers have it listed for about $15/10 GBP with free shipping.

The price really is a lie for consumers. Maybe $5 refers to the price they sell to distributors, who need to mark it up.

Microcenter sells them for 5 dollars. This is the first unit. I happen to have one close to my home so I've been able to buy a few of them, I just buy one each time i go there. I am building retropie machines for my friends so i get them for 5 bucks. you can only buy one pi zero w for 5 dollars. but you can always come back and buy more.

It's 5 dollars for one.

If you want 2-5, it's $10 each, and if you want 6+, it's $15 each.

This is exactly my point. It's asinine to advertise it at $5. If you don't live near a physical Microcenter, it's not even $5 for one, because they charge shipping too.

I don't know any stores that include shipping on their price tags. But you're right, the Zeros are so popular that the MSRP of $5 is difficult to achieve without them being constantly sold out.

Hard to blame the market for correcting, they're worth way more than $5.

The Raspberry Pi foundation outsource all their manufacturing, as is normal in the electronics industry.

In the absence of component shortages, they could up production of Zeros by 10x or more if they wanted to. And the Zero barely has any components, so a component shortage seems unlikely.

If there's such high market demand that the product constantly sells out when offered for the MSRP, why haven't they just told their manufacturer to make the next manufacturing run much larger?

I think this is reasonably analogous:

My kids school has a "chocolate table", at their fair, you pay a pound and win chocolate, it sells out really quickly. Why don't they procure enough chocolate to meet the high demand?

Or, other are asking "why don't they price out the poor kids - there enough to seek only to the rich kids at a higher price?".

School's not procuring more chocolate because they think too much chocolate is unhealthy, so it should be kept out of the hands of children.

AFAIK it's not the RPi foundation's policy that RPi are unhealthy or that they should be kept out of the hands of children.

So I don't understand what you're trying to say with your analogy?

That's not how economics works! If they aren't making a loss at $5 then by now they have had plenty of time to ramp up production to meet demand (and save money since more production means lower costs).

The fact that they haven't strongly implies that they are selling it at a loss.

They might well be making a loss at $5!

Don't take this too harshly, but the Raspberry Pi foundation's goal is to encourage young children to learn about programming and computer science, not to subsidize the IoT hobbies of wealthy adults who already have careers in computing.

They failed at that goal. Hobbyists, yes; hobbyists building stuff with their kids, yes; kids on their own or in schools, not really.

There have been campaigns to get RPis into schools for free, but for the most part, they gather dust there.

Whatever their original goal, they might as well embrace their only successful market and stop using 'it wasn't meant for you' as an excuse for every engineering mistake they make.

Getting stuff into schools and getting them to use it is difficult. There was a push some years ago for Lego Mindstorms kit in schools. That stuff was very cool but mostly went unused - nobody knew how to use it, let alone create lessons around it.

The RPF's work is better in that it's both cheaper and a more joined up plan with both kit and teacher resources. A big part of their work is running courses for teachers but training people takes time. That goal is expectedly still ongoing. The code club stuff they do seems pretty successful too. I have no doubt they will continue what they are doing and I think it's the correct strategy.

There are plenty of other SBCs out there now (in response to RPi) which can embrace the consumer market as you desire. It sounds like you are looking for something that meets everyone's requirements; a product that makes no compromises in features or cost. I wish you luck.

I'm not in any feasible target market for them anyway because I'm happy to pay significantly more for higher spec SBCs with mainline kernel support, avoiding proprietary boot loaders/threadx and long-obsolete SoCs. The current crop of RK3399 boards are a great example of that.

But I do understand why the lower spec, lower price point devices appeal so much to hobbyists and makers. These people actually buy and use RPis in significant numbers, unlike the schoolchildren whom they keep aiming at and failing to reach. These people are the only reason for the RPi's success.

The RPi folks would be better to acknowledge and take credit for the important part they've been playing in the maker and hobbyist movement and plan their future devices on that basis.

On what basis do you think they are failing to reach school children?

Anecdata rather than a rigorously conducted survey across UK schools. It was very much the consensus amongst my teacher friends when I kicked off a discussion on the topic whilst attempting to donate a handful of them. (I had a bunch spare from doing some speed testing on them.)

Interestingly, they also felt the microbit had been much more successful and accessible, so I guess it's not a lost cause to create a product for that market.

The foundation do publish yearly reviews (not sure if they done a 2018 one yet) on their website with statistics they have gathered.

But it's interesting the microbit was considered more successful in your group. Perhaps having the name of the BBC behind it gave it more weight. Or the fact they gave them away free to younger children.

I think maybe it's also a simpler device to understand end-to-end, a bit like 8-bit micros were when I was a kid?

I think this is it. It's a simpler device which is easier to get started with. At the cost of being able to do less with it but that's a good tradeoff, in primary school at least.

> They might well be making a loss at $5!

Yeah that's what I said?

That's not how finance works either. Moving up from one level of production to another can mean acquiring new warehousing, creating new distribution channels, etc.. Can mean need to increase head count (and thus risk). Risks being left with excess product - eg if a competitor comes on the scene.

Those risks are worth it, perhaps, to achieve higher profit. But if the risks are merely to satisfy some demand for cheap gadgets, rather than meeting the educational aims of your org, then "there's more to life, let someone else do that".

> asinine

"Asinine" means "extremely stupid or foolish", and it's a very harsh term. Are you sure it's the word you were looking for?

Pretty sure Microcenter sells the Pi Zero for $5 and the Zero W for $10. Still a good deal, and I also pick one up each time I go.

Edit: oops, just checked and the Zero W is indeed on sale for $5. I think this is a recent MC discount though, and the official price is $10, which is still reasonable. It also puts the $15/ea for 2-5 units in a better perspective.

I've tried building a retropi box on a regular RPi and it was too slow for anything but original NES games.

How are you able to build these with Pi Zero?

Because it's not possible to buy it without shipping. (Fry's had them in physical stores, briefly, but quickly sold out and never got anymore.)

It would be fine if you were allowed to buy more than one, because then the cost of shipping per unit would be negligible, but you're not, you can only buy one.

So it's totally fair to include the shipping cost, because there's no alternative.

one word: Microcenter I don't live in the states, but am on a forum of people centered around various projects that (among other things) happen to make use of Pi Zero's the people who live near MC's are always saying how they just popped into their MC on the way home from work and picked up a (sometimes couple of) $5 zero W. So yeah while your experience is that $5 zeros don't exist (as is mine since in the UK there are exactly zero B&M stores that sell zeros, with the possible exception of this new RPF store - great if you're in/near Cambridge, sucks for the rest of us) the truth is that there ARE $5 Pi's available from walk-in retail outlets (in your country and possibly now mine too.)

> in the UK there are exactly zero B&M stores that sell zeros

Now there's one!

But how much is a zero(W) in the new RPF store?

Technically if you buy locally (in the same country), shipping the raspberry pi zero would fit in a small enveloped and cost probably only one dollar max. The surcharge is ridiculous.

Shipping 10 together is not even nearly as expensive as shipping one 10 times. Free shipping and constant per item shipping costs are a lie that ends up with higher costs.

But it should go down per device significantly when shipping multiple. A one per customer policy and charging for shipping is usually a sneaky way to make money on the shipping.

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