The fixed price, high bulk, cooperation with education initiatives and governments, all translates to a relatively homogeneous, unfragmented "fleet" of devices, which just isn't the norm in small computers.
Beagle Bone, the Odroid series, and several other products are technically superior in most ways. But they don't have a comparable community size, and aren't focused on the educational sector as much. In some ways, these models attach to the Raspberry Pi community.
The Foundation is doing this in a highly vertically integrated way because it gives them predictability and a guarantee that the hardware meets the educational needs and also the "marketing" needs of turning kids into enthusiasts. That's why Minecraft for the Pi is important, for example.
I wonder what the price point could be of a device with a decent screen (somewhat better than the TI's), battery/charging, physical buttons, case, plus the Raspberry Pi?
The large community that is involved with the Pi. The large number of tutorials, and guides available. The incredible amount of accessories available and customized for the Pi. The Pi has the momentum. The odroid-C1 may be fantastic, but it's the first time I've ever heard of it.
The Odroids all use Mali graphics. Mali isn't particularly worse than the Pi's VideoCore IV, but it's not particularly better either...
And the BeagleBone vs Pi comparison here is worth reading: http://section9.choamco.com/2012/07/beagleboard-vs-beagleboa...
P.S. I double-checked that the Odroids are all shipping with Mali. Happy to be proven wrong though. Does anyone know of similar-priced dev boards from Qualcomm? Qualcomm's Adreno is definitely the most interesting GPU architecture in this space. Adreno is an anagram of Radeon.
"Ringing in 2015 with 40 Linux-friendly hacker SBCs" (Dec 31, 2014)
"Nine sub-$50 SBCs that challenge the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black: 86Duino, A10-OLinuXino-Lime, Arduino TRE, Banana Pi, BPi D1, HummingBoard-i1, Odroid-C1, Orange Pi, and pcDuino3 Nano"
It's not just the hardware you buy into. You also by default have the available operating systems, the software available for the OS and the community.