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Pricing updates for Raspberry Pi (raspberrypi.org)
106 points by Ecio78 on Mar 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

I understand their reasons for doing this, and I appreciate their transparency... but the way raspberry pi has gone about selling their product is frustrating. I just want to hand over my money and get one as soon as I can possible have one. I don't want to keep having to check back and sign up for mailing lists and register my interest etc. etc. etc.

The sooner I can place an order and have my credit card charged, the sooner I can stop thinking about it and be pleasantly surprised when it arrives on my doorstep.

> the way raspberry pi has gone about selling their product is frustrating

Would you rather they not let anyone buy them until they had more than enough to sell to absolutely everyone who might want one?

Or is there a third option that they should have taken?

Um, what?

They could backorder them like everyone else does. Advertise a product and price. Accept orders at that price for existing stock and scheduled deliveries. And repeat that process as more become available.

As an optimization, allow a fixed-sized queue of "pre-orders" at the same price. Though you have to be careful with this because you're selling things you aren't guaranteed to get. Amazon can cover the losses from mistakes here, small vendors can't.

They should have charged more.

It is obvious that demand was way more than supply. When demand is too high, you raise prices to decrease demand to match with your supply. When you increase supply you can lower prices to have demand match it.

In the long run they want to make it so everyone can have one for cheap, but really they don't have the infrastructure to do that. By selling at a higher price they can use the extra money to build out that infrastructure and then lower prices.

So should they have announced higher prices recently and had to face all the "knew they couldn't do it at the prices they promised, was all nonsense!" opinions? Or should they have never announced their real prices, and not got so much good press?

The other option would be directly selling them themselves, instead of being at the mercy of a few existing retailers.

I'm not sure that would go smoother, but at least you wouldn't have to go to each retailer and sign up for their lists or having to check their sites which one will get a new batch first.

(EDIT: I'm not saying I would think that's a good idea, but I think that's what the GP meant)

In the future you will be able to buy directly form the few existing retailers.

The only reason that you can't now is because they sold all their product. Both RS and Farnell are pretty large distributors (worldwide, not just UK) and should be able to easily meet demand. Only problem is confusion about selling to individuals not businesses, but that'll get solved.

EDIT: The foundation is a non-profit charity, where everyone involved has other jobs. That sounds sub-optimal for receiving orders, processing them, shipping them, and handling returns. It's much better that they've outsourced that to companies who are in business to sell stuff.

Well, the way it's done now, once evertyhing gets rolling there'll be enough Pi's for everyone. I can appreciate using experienced distributors instead of potentially facing much larger problems and delays. I agree it's not the smoothest of launches but from what I hear it's not much easier to get your hands on a new Apple device..

The speed benefit of not having to take a guess on one of two distributors would be more than wiped out by the delays caused by rPi having to do it all themselves, and would likely make it harder for them to meet their price targets.

And regardless, even if you ignore the downsides, at the very best all it would do is make the way a little easier, it doesn't solve the op's problem of having to wait before buying.

... In which case they would cost more to cover the cost of setting up a logistics operation from scratch.

I would have preferred they sold directly. It is not so much the logistics, but that they have lost control. And lets not pretend that these companies are doing it for love-- they are taking money that could have gone to the charity.

On the launch they had no idea one of the retailers was only going to take a statement of interest. I'm still not sure what's going on at RS.

The servers were woefully under-prepared-- if the Pi folks were running it they could have thrown it up on AWS for an hour and then thrown up a static 'sold out' page. No faffing around, no attempting to register on a server that was being DDOSed.

This announcement shows they don't seem to have control of their pricing either. It's not the end of the world, but this seems like something they should be in control of.

As for the logistics side, I don't actually see why they couldn't have handled it themselves. They already had a payment processor set up for badge sales. I'm pretty sure 10,000 rPi's, 10,000 padded envelopes, and a printer could easily fit in almost any room. So all they would have to do is sort things out with a shipping agent, and hire a few people to pack them. IIRC, Amazon offer this service (send them boxes of something and they'll distribute it) so they could have even avoided this and still retained more control.

consumerism in all its glory.

In what way is this consumerism? Consumerism is commonly used as a pejorative to refer to entitled people buying things they don't need. Raspberry Pi is not a consumer product, it's a niche project. This isn't a case of people trampling each other to buy an iPad so they can buy more apps and iTunes music. People want these so they can create. That's not consumerism.

Raspberry Pi borders on consumerism.

If people want to capital-C Create, they have many other options that are already available, shipping, and well documented. Take your pick. Basic Stamp, TI USB keys, Arduino, Beagle, Beaglebone, Panda, OpenWRT, Chumby, Sparkfun boards, Adafruit boards, $50 eBay laptops, all the plug computers, etc etc etc. Read hackaday.com for an hour if you want to see Creation.

Raspberry Pi is cheap(er) and has an HDMI port on it. The majority of the "creation" I've seen from the clamor is everyone wanting to run XBMC on it and not much else.

Well with that classification,buying anything is consumerism. Wanting an Arduino is consumerism because the majority of people want to buy them and follow a tutorial to make something.

The idea is people are doing something on their own, rather than buying something preinstalled and just plugging it in. Consumerism refers to buying something that can only lead to further purchases. An iPad is consumerism. A Kindle Fire is consumerism. An MP3 player is consumerism. A Raspberry Pi comes with nothing extra and entices you to buy nothing extra. The simple act of installing XBMC (since it doesn't come preinstalled, nothing comes preinstalled) and having a large install base on these devices is actively helping two non-profits and one open-source group.

Some people want a Raspberry Pi to consume media. That doesn't make Rasperry Pi a consumerist product.

We now have consumerism disguised as hacking, in my opinion.

iOS jailbreaking and Cyanogenmod, for example. A few clever people doing the hard the work and the rest of the users out there clamoring "WHERE IS MY FREE THING THAT I WANT NOW!".

Rpi will be the same thing. Someone resourceful and determined will get XBMC, or Android, or whatever running on this chip and the rest will dutifully follow the instructions and either a) have fun for a week and throw it in the drawer or b) live on the forums forever and bitch about what else isn't finished.

Even stuff like Arduino is on the fringe of this. We've taken a fairly simple microprocessor and wrapped it in IDEs and plug-and-play boards to the point where most users have learned nothing about embedded systems development, save for how to wire up an LED or stepper motor without frying your power supply.

I don't really get this complaint. The spectrum of technical investment in your own devices spans all the way from soldering your own boards and implementing custom hardware logic with FPGAs to hacking together your own firmware for hardware you purchased to installing an OS that gives you low level access to being able to run programs you wrote yourself to having to buy all the software from an app store to having a bread machine with 3 buttons on the top that you can press to tell it what to do.

Depending on what you want to do, any of these points on the spectrum can be perfectly valid. Even the bread machine can have you making bread out of scratch ingredients yourself using a recipe you control instead of just buying a loaf of bread at the store.

I agree with wanorris. You're applying an incredibly strict definition whatever term you wish to use for the opposite of consumerism. I don't understand why you seem to be arguing that making an Arduino or RPi accessible and low-cost somehow cheapens the value it holds for the rest of the community.

Yes, there will be some consumers who are buying these PCs. But without them, would XBMC or Cyanogenmod exist? With that in mind, what's the marginal value of one more RPi user?

I'd rather see see someone run an XMBC install on a Pi than a Roku box. One leaves a path forward for exploration, then other does not.

Count me as one more tally mark on the side of capital-C Creation. The Raspberry Pi is by far the cheapest hackable device that includes a floating point processor and 1080p-capable GPU. I have plans, man. Plans!

"I just want to hand over my money and get one as soon as I can possible have one."

"The sooner I can place an order and have my credit card charged, the sooner I can stop thinking about it"

I interpret that as "I want one, and I want it now". Sounds like that is all about consumption to me.

My frustration is based on the fact that I'm stuck as a consumer. I'm perpetually "buying" one, and never "owning" one. When it arrives on my doorstep I get to finally move on to being a user.

I am pleasantly surprised that this didn't turn out to be an unexpected price increase.

me too. Maybe the op can change the title to also include the "good news!" part. When I first saw the title I was actually expecting some bad news.

it looks like I can't edit it, dont know why..

It's a significant decrease here. And RS's fixed world-wide pricing is a guarantee the prices of both retailers will be reasonable everywhere.

Me too... I came in wondering, "Ok, how have things been screwed up yet again?". Glad to see it's something positive.

Yeah. A bit disappointing. Its been weeks since the launch, and the only thing I can do is register my interest in a product that, even when available here in the USA is coming very close to being double the magic $25 I was hoping for(1).

I somewhat infamously predicted last December that if the RasPi had trouble shipping and didn't deliver on the crazy low price that made it nearly disposable that the magic could be lost.

It seems to me that they are one "Beaglebone" clone (shaving an Andy Jackson off the price) away from irrelevance. In many ways, the 'bone is already way ahead with "cape" addons and a vibrant community.

Now is the time for the foundation to fight relentlessly for their core principles. Cheap, open, available. I want to believe.

(1) I am aware that only B is for sale and the $25 is for A which should become available at some point.

> when available here in the USA is coming very close to being double the magic $25 I was hoping for(1).

You were expecting a free-shipping model A, and instead have to pay for shipment (the horror!) and only have the model B available (exactly as they say). If there's any problem here, it lies with your expectations.

You can wait till the Model A becomes available. You can also arrange for people at your hackerspace to order 100 together to make the shipping cost negligible. Other than Apple, RP seems to be as good or better at delivering on their promises as any other vendor. And apple mostly deliver on their promises because they hardly ever make any.

> You can also arrange for people at your hackerspace to order 100 together to make the shipping cost negligible

Out of interest, is this currently possible with their one-per-person restriction? If not, would be nice if there was a way for people to group together and get one-each, all in a single shipment.

I do not know, but I suspect their one-per-person restriction is "one per person, unless you can convince us that you are not a scalper, and plan to order > 100 to make our time checking out your explanation worth its while".

I suspect if a well known hackerspace (SF Noisebridge, NYC Resistor, PumpStation One, Nottinghack) made such a request, they could get it.

From Newark, the B is $40 before shipping. Even if I could get one, I can only get one. But I can't get one. Their hook was "Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!" They set up that expectation. I can't do that yet. Its a bit disappointing. That's all I'm saying.

What I really wanted was a handful of A's where the price of each one, even after shipping (thanks to the multiple unit order), is damn close to the $25. I'm still hoping they'll get there. Its just disappointing that this hasn't happened yet.

Someone is going to provide a so-cheap-its-disposable linux computer. I really do want it to be the Foundation.

They publicly stated on their own website (and it was re-reported around the web) that the $25 model will be produced later this year, and the $35 unit would be shipping first.

The double price thing is something that pains us Europeans constantly when we buy something from the US.

It's always tax, shipping, duty fee and so on. The price is usually over 200% at the checkout. Sometimes (talking to you Amazon) only there you are given the notice you can't actually order this piece of hardware to Europe.

> Currently we are restricted in selling to private individuals in Austria only.

anybody knows why that's the case?

I really wish it had VGA output, without that it's useless to me since I have no spare monitors to connect to it.

Since all TVs/Monitors/Projectors have had HDMI for some years now, i think it was a wise choice. IIRC there is still composite out for those stuck with only analogue connections.

The thing is the digital-to-analog converter would simply add too much cost to the device. A lot of these kinds of boards don't include VGA output because analog is (relatively) expensive, compared to digital.

Not sure where you are located, but in most bits of the US (and many other countries) you can find a small used monitor on Craigslist that has a DVI/HDMI port relatively cheap.

HDMI => DVI => VGA should work, no? A lot of adapters, but at least you'll get a signal out of it.

The HDMI socket on the Pi carries a digital signal only.

I checked - those adapters cost more than the Raspberry Pi! Around $50.

The cheap cables you may be thinking of require the device to output a VGA signal.

Not ideal, but you can get composite (CVBS) to VGA converters for about £15 on eBay.

HDMI => DVI would be enough for every monitor I've owned in the past 5 years.

any one actually lay hands on this thing?

I'm confused. I just put in a pre-order for three of these via Newark. Has that changed?

I'm seeing this Raspberry Pi meme on HN a lot lately so I guess I should look into it?

What kind of cool things will I be able to do with it exactly?

I'm confused by your use of the word 'meme.' A meme is generally some sort of fairly abstract thing (e.g. a funny picture of a cat with various witty statements superimposed on it).

This, on the other hand, is a physical product, so I'm not sure how it could qualify as a 'meme.'

Quickly off the top of my head:

- Low power home servers (media, voip, etc.). - Digital signage. - Portable computer, just add keyboard+monitor. - Hobbyist controller, like arduino but you can code in higher level scripting languages (python/ruby/etc).

There are plenty of other uses. It's small, low power and runs linux... the possibilities are endless.

Haters be downvotin' instead of answering my honest question.

So far I know of 0 cool uses for a Raspberry Pi. I don't have time to research every new HN trend in detail either. That's why I ask for a summary of what this thing can do for me.

It's a tiny, low power, low cost computer. The uses are almost infinite.

I don't have time to research every new HN trend in detail either.

So in your laziness, you expect us to do it for you?

It's a cute toy for running Linux. You can play Quake 3 on it.

Other than that, it might be useful for teaching programming...?

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