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Raspberry Pi to ship February 20, launch before March

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February 7, 2012

After some delay, the first batch of US$25 Raspberry Pi computers is due to roll of the pr...

After some delay, the first batch of US$25 Raspberry Pi computers is due to roll of the production line February 20, for immediate shipping to the UK

There's good news for those itching to get their hands on a Raspberry Pi. After a short delay, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has confirmed that the first batch of the US$25 computers is due to roll off the production line February 20. Shifting production eastwards caused some delay, as the cheapest available quartz crystal package selected when manufacturing was planned for the UK proved harder to source in China, where the Pi will now be manufactured. The first batch will be freighted by air to the UK, where the wee beasties should be available before the end of the month. Previously, the first batch had been slated for completion by the end of January.

The decision to send production to China is an interesting one, and gives some insight into the dilemmas faced by electronics innovators hoping to see the physical manifestations of the their designs. Though the Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF) is a UK charity, and would have preferred to see manufacturing remain in the UK, Chinese manufacturing offered three-four week turnarounds compared to the 12-14 weeks quoted by UK rivals. Further, the only UK manufacturers that were able to offer RPF a marginal profit were only able to manufacture a few hundred units per month. Plus, even the very best rates offered in the UK were $5 per unit steeper than China's - a huge hit on a $25 item.

The final nail in the coffin was the UK tax laws that charge a duty on electronics components imported into the UK for assembly there, when completed items can be imported at no charge. "Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax," wrote an RPF spokesperson on the foundation's blog.

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation (February 6 and January 10)

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
3 Comments

Isn't that taxing situation a little ridiculas and counterproductive for the UK economy? It should be the other way around. All the western world needs to end this stupidity.

rgibson
8th February, 2012 @ 08:19 am PST

Wow, what a bummer. I wish lawmakers would read this and change the business environment. It is a shame that preventable things like taxation can take away domestic jobs. One thing I don't understand though, is why is it that the Chinese can manufacture the product so much faster. I wonder if this is one of those cases where someone is quoting a time just to get the job, but in reality the deadline will never be met.

Paul Anthony
8th February, 2012 @ 08:58 am PST

Wow, you know you should remember that taxes are the things that pay for the legal systems and regulations that keep workers safe. If you want the lowest price you should realize that in one way or another you end up getting what you pay for.

rastapapa
18th April, 2012 @ 04:17 pm PDT
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