Two Million In Sales Is The Magic Number For Raspberry Pi
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Sales of Raspberry Pi, the cheap and tiny computer that was designed to teach programming to students, have passed two million units in sales in just two years. While the co-creator of the $35 Linux-based computer had expected to sell about 1,000 or so of the devices, it became a huge hit, exceeding almost everyone’s expectations, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.
In fact, sales have actually increased since it first passed the million sales mark. The company actually ramped up production in June of last year from 204 devices a week to nearly 40,000 by April of this year.
“It took us almost exactly a year to sell the first million Raspberry Pis,” Liz Upton, head of communications for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, posted on the company’s website on Sunday. “Going on that basis, we calculated that we might, if we were lucky, reach the second million around January 2014, or slightly afterwards – we were confident we’d get there by the end of February 2014. So it was a bit of a shock at the end of last week when we got the latest sales figures and discovered that the 2,000,000th Raspberry Pi was sold in the last week of October.”
“We don’t know who owns it – if you bought one between October 24 and October 31st, it might be yours. (It could even be the one we gave to Prince Andrew when he visited on Halloween.),” she added.
The Raspberry Pi is about as basic of a computer as it comes. While it does feature a USB port for keyboard and mouse, an Ethernet port, SD card slot and an HDMI port for connectivity to a display, it isn’t really a computer in the most traditional sense.
It is in fact really just the most basic part of a computer, namely a circuit board. This credit card-sized, bare-bones computer is built around an ARM processor, which is similar to the processors in many smartphones and tablet devices. In addition, it runs on the free open-source Linux operating system, which is more than powerful enough to provide a basic and, more importantly, an extendable computing platform for teachers and pupils, as well as hobbyists and even startups.
The Rasepberry Pi has been designed not only as an affordable PC, but as noted, one that could appeal to schools and possibly get kids interested in coding. To help spur interest, the developers have even given out 15,000 free boards to schools.
“Since its launch last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been on a mission to transform the education experience for students, but is it delivering? The reality is that there is more work to do to ensure that schools are ready for this new wave of mini computers,” Nick Williams, senior product manager at networking specialist Brocade, told The Guardian newspaper in the UK. “Whilst the devices on offer to schools have taken a quantum leap in affordability and accessibility, schools still exist with 20-year-old networking technology and the sums just do not add up.”
Beyond the educational uses, the Raspberry Pi has been popular with hobbyists as well, being used in the design of speech-controlled robots and Pi-powered drones, according to the TechRepublic.