World’s Cheapest Computer Finally Makes It To The US Market
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that its $25 Model A computer is now available for purchase in the United States through the electronics reseller Allied Electronics.
The model A is a ten dollar price cut from Raspberry Pi´s original Model B mini computer.
While it doesn´t come close to rivaling Apple design standards, being essentially little more than a circuit board with a few basic hardware components attached, the Model A has enough processing power to run a home media center, according to the foundation.
The release of the computer represents the latest milestone in the democratization of microprocessing power and is expected to be well received by tech geeks, DIY enthusiasts, aspiring entrepreneurs and educators in developing countries.
According to TechCrunch, the Model A uses a third less power and could potentially be powered by solar power or another renewable energy source. The Model A has a 750 MHz processor, 256 megabytes of RAM, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, an SD memory card and a 1/8 inch audio output. The computer also has an HD video camera connector designed for a Raspberry Pi-made camera, and the entire computer is designed to run the Linux operating system.
Made available on the Europe market in early February as well as in Asia just last week, sales of the Model A have been “a few thousand a week” so far, according Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton.
“We burned through the first 20,000 units quite quickly, and are building a few thousand a week at the moment, but we don´t have good visibility of sell through yet,” he told TechCrunch. “I´d expect us to dip in and out of availability for the next month or so until we reach a steady state.”
The Raspberry Pi founder said the not-for-profit organization has sold the popular computers to buyers around the world, even in the emerging markets of Africa.
“It´s very strong in South Africa,” he told TechCrunch. “We´re looking to use South Africa as a springboard to increasingly affluent per capita cities of sub-Saharan Africa.”
“There´s a lot of tech in Ghana,” he added. “There´s a lot of tech in a lot of these places and an emerging middle class who we think are ready for this kind of innovation.”
Upton has said that he founded Raspberry Pi with the intent of providing a computer platform that enables kids to learn how to write computer code. The device´s affordable price in combination with the interconnectedness of the Internet means that the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates could emerge from anywhere in the world, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Besides enabling children around the world to connect to the web, Raspberry Pi´s computers have been embraced by DIY enthusiasts, for both recreational and entrepreneurial purposes. Brooklynite Matt Richardson revealed in a web video that he used a Raspberry Pi to create a bike headlight that also projects a bicycle´s current speed.
David Akerman, another DIY enthusiast, attached a Raspberry Pi to a high altitude weather balloon in southern England. The device was able to send back pictures from almost 25 miles above the Earth.