Raspberry Pi has made a big name for itself over the past decade by selling small, cheap computers that were initially aimed at educators, students, and hobbyists. But Raspberry Pi hardware has pretty much become unobtanium over the past year or so due to a combination of supply chain constraints and a shift in priorities that has led to the company largely prioritizing big customers rather than the consumer market.

Now Raspberry Pi says the end of its hardware shortages is in sight. The company has allocated “a little over a hundred thousand units” that will be allocated for “single-unit sales” this holiday season. And by the second quarter of 2023, Raspberry Pi expects its hardware supply to be back to pre-pandemic levels. By the second half of 2023, the company says you should have no problem finding Raspberry Pi devices in stock at most of the stores that sell them.

Raspberry PI 4

While Raspberry Pi helped popularize the idea of cheap, single-board computers for makers and enthusiasts, there are a growing number of competitors in this space including companies such as Pine64, Radxa, FriendlyElec and the makers of the Banana Pi and Orange Pi boards, just to name a few.

What Raspberry Pi has long had going for it is a strong hardware and software ecosystem maintained both by the company itself and a wide community of hardware hackers and software developers.

But many of those developers have been unable to get their hands on Raspberry Pi hardware for quite some time. And while it’s good news that supply is expected to become available again, that good news comes at an interesting time for Raspberry Pi.

Last week the company became enmeshed in a public relations disaster of its own making – a representative for the company posted what was, at best, a poorly-worded message on social media site Mastodon without considering how it might be interpreted by the largely security & privacy-focused folks that hang out on Mastodon. And when people pushed back on those messages, Raspberry Pi’s social media folks did not handle their responses very well… which has led some Mastodon instances to defederate the Raspberry Pi server (basically making future messages from Raspberry Pi harder for Mastodon users to find).

Perhaps the fact that you’ll actually be able to buy Raspberry Pi devices again will be enough to appease some folks. But today’s announcement isn’t all good news – Raspberry Pi says that the rising prices of components have led it to increase the price of one of its cheaper single-board computers.

Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is getting a 50% price hike from $10 to $15, while the Raspberry Pi Zero (without built-in wireless capabilities) is doubling in price, going from $5 to $10.

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18 Comments

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  1. Lmao, cool. I’d rather buy SBCs from someone who doesn’t reek of bootleather.

    Raspi’s been totally lapped multiple times over by all these folks selling RK based boards anyway.

  2. Looking at the original post from Eben, I’m exercising cautious hope of getting my hands on a 4. But in reality the big drop of stock is at least 7 months away. In the mean time, I’m going down a youtube rabbit hole of Pi alternatives…

  3. I found all I was doing was making sensors for stuff, temperature, light etc. I needed wireless so the Pico was out. I switched to the esp32. I bit dealers that the RPi Pico W but it has so much more.
    The RPis in New Zealand have been unavailable. So this article mentions the old 1 per customer limit. So here we go again. ESP32 decision was the correct one.

  4. The topic of the proper utilization of typographical and grammatical elements aside. I plan to utilize the simplicity of “Raspberry” devices in handcrafted IoT docking stations as part of a larger passion project. I did not realize that there were supply shortages from the manufacturer. Hopefully by the time I begin the implementation phase of my project that “Raspberry” devices will be ready in plethora, and in bulk. At least for a extensive amount of time until i’m able to manufacture the necessary components myself from a revenue gained through the entrepreneurial enterprise.

  5. A price hike on the RPi Zero 2 W was not specifically mentioned. I am hoping it stays at $15. At this price point I don’t know why anyone would buy a RPi Zero or RPi Zero W. That’s like buying a RPi 3 when the RPi 4 is available.

  6. Poorly worded is the order of the day — ostensible English-speakers, especially Americans, are incompetent at communicating in their first (and only) language. Grammatical prescriptivism is so deprecated that putative journalists can no longer form the past tense of English verbs or choose the correct preposition. It’s no fun being expert when no one appreciates expertise. One of the forces driving the debasement of the language is corporate capitalism, which, like the CIA, operates on a need-to-know basis — communicating only that information which might induce consumers to buy is the modus operandi of most corporations.

    As for Raspberry Pi hardware, as the years go by and Moore’s Law remains unrepealed (or at least not completely repudiated), it does seem strange that the price of SBCs of a given capacity should rise at all.

    1. Alright, partner. Let’s cool it with being overly verbose to act superior as a means to insult a large swath of people, eh?
      “It’s no fun being expert when no one appreciates expertise.”
      By the way, I think you missed a word there, bubba. 🙂

      I think the issue mainly stems from how out-of-touch the initial post is. It’s not a matter of the word choice or grammatical errors, but rather an issue of the content itself. It’s hard to convince a community of opensource devs and anti-surveillance folks to be all giddy when the company they admire decides to hire someone who, at least on first shake, is completely against the ideals of the community they supply.

        1. Oh dang, I’ve been thoroughly thrashed. Good job trying to high-road me though lmao.

          I feel like it’s a bit different when I’m correcting someone who goes out of their way to insult entire groups of people because of some silly superiority complex they have. You touted yourself as some sort of wordsmith and even you, the divine gift from the heavens that you may be, still made a silly little mistake, which in of itself is a completely human thing to do. Erm, I mean it’s something that ostensible English-speakers, especially Americans, do, right? And you went on a crazy rant about English-speakers’ lack of understanding of written English conventions when this article’s use of “poorly worded” had NOTHING to do with that. It was all about what I said about the surveillance issue. Had it described the post as “poorly written”, then you might be on to somethin’ there. (Also, I started that one sentence with “and” just to be a silly little guy teehee)

    2. “One of the forces driving the debasement of the language is corporate capitalism, which, like the CIA, operates on a need-to-know basis — communicating only that information which might induce consumers to buy is the modus operandi of most corporations.”

      Zerohedge Stupidity Correlation Rating: 100

      Well done.

  7. By ’23 I was hoping to see a pi 5 released!

    Now so many rk3588 boards are available and prices falling to those of a pi 4, it already seems harder to justify a pi 4 over the several-times-faster rk3588, unless you have become tied to the pi’s GPIO ecosystem or low-power envelopes.

    I can understand the commercial incentive to simply produce more of an in-demand product, but if they just ride the pi 4 until demand is sated insteading of bringing in a pi 5, then cpu hungry users will start drifting to more cost-efficient alternatives and the boat will have sailed.

    1. It could be worth the extra time if the pi 5 is SystemReady, and SystemReady actually gives the user what I’m led to believe it does, without a detrimental cost in power draw. Because if I understand it right, the first SBC manufacturer to really commit to SystemReady will have a large, but temporary, advantage over the others until the others catch up.
      Not that I’ve been following them close enough to know what they think about it.

      1. That’s not upto the Pi Foundation.
        They have limited talent, limited staff, and limited access to processors that may be open-source friendly. To get something that is SystemReady is already pretty rare today, and I don’t see it happening unless its from a large established company (eg Nvidia Jetson Thor).

        So I don’t see it happening. The RaPi will come to the market late, it will come expensive, it will come slow, it will come with limited stock, and it will come with it’s fair share of bugs. So it “should not” do well but it will. It has a strong dedicated community which will fix their drivers and issues.

        Yet people will buy it until its sold out, because what you’re paying for is the safety-net of its big community, and it’s open-source nature. That’s what differentiates the RaPi (and to a certain extent the Odroid) from the sea of cheap electronics, most which aren’t open-source, and few that have any developer community at all.

  8. I don’t think I’ve heard about anyone ever buying RasPi Zero boards at MSRP. If they have the stocks to bypass the scalpers, then it’s actually becoming cheaper. If not, well, I wonder how much the scalpers will raise the prices?

    1. There is a lot of components ect, overstock to run down. The stone age
      RPI has better rival competition . Better, faster game emulators and lets mention faster storage on new makers boards.