‘PC on a USB stick’ Raspberry Pi Computers Set for Public Use

Share the joy

The Rasperry Pi Foundation has announced that its ‘PC on a USB stick’ Raspberry Pi computers are now in the process of mass production and will soon hit stores.

“Raspberry Pis started being made a couple of days ago, but I was forbidden to tell you about it until signed contracts and receipts for payment had arrived – it’s been killing me, especially since I’ve had tens of you asking me when manufacturing would start every day for the last few weeks. I am not good at keeping secrets,” said a blog post from the charity organization.

The homegrown UK PC on a USB stick, however, is currently in the works overseas to lower the manufacturing and labor costs.

According to the foundation, the first units will likely arrive by the end of January this year but Model B units will be first in line and Model A units for later.

Raspberry wants to build up stock of around ten thousand units first before talking about plans to release the devices for sale.

Moreover, the Raspberry Pi Foundation decided not to manufacture the units in the UK because of pricing and the allotted time to deliver.

“The Raspberry Pi Foundation had intended to get all its manufacture done in the UK; after all, we’re a UK charity, we want to help bootstrap the UK electronics industry, and doing our manufacturing in the UK seemed another way to help reach our goals,” it said. “We investigated a number of possible UK manufacturers, but encountered a few problems, some of which made matters impossible.”

The post goes on to say that schedule problems in the UK would only delay further the Raspberry Pi computers’ release for months as local manufacturing costs wiped clean any form of profit.

“Some factories were able to offer us prices which were marginally profitable, but they were only able to produce at most a few hundred units a month; and even then, we were doing better by more than five dollars per unit if we moved that manufacture to the Far East,” it explained. “When you’re talking about tens of thousands of units per batch, losing that sum of money for the charity – a sum that we can spend on more manufacture, more outreach work and more research and development – just to be able to say we’d kept all the work in one country, starts to look irresponsible.”

‘PC on a USB stick’ Raspberry Pi Computers Set for Public Use - Raspberry Pi computer, Raspberry Pi release date, Raspberry Pi Foundation

A Raspberry Pi computers essentially is a PC on a USB stick. Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

The post also cited issues with British taxes, with the foundation saying that manufacturing and production costs will be cheaper abroad as opposed to importation of components and assembling them inside the UK.

“This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas,” it added.

Thus, the organization made the “pragmatic decision” to make Raspberry Pi computers in Taiwan and China.


Share the joy

Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

Share This Post On