1.75 million sold so far – and 1 million made in the UK

We’ve reached a bit a landmark. As you’ll know if you’ve been following us since we started documenting what happens when you decide to make a tiny computer for education back in 2011, the first Raspberry Pis were made in China. Back in September 2012, we started moving manufacture to a plant owned by Sony in South Wales. Gradually, both of our manufacturing partners, RS Components and Premier Farnell, have reshored all the production of Raspberry Pis to that factory, and for the last few months, all the Pis you buy have been made in the UK.

The really big news today is that the Pencoed factory has made its millionth British Raspberry Pi. Add these to the existing Chinese ones, and that makes one and three quarter million Raspberry Pis out there worldwide, the majority of them made right here at home. Sony’s Pencoed factory has just won a slew of trophies at the British Factory Awards: they took home the Best Factory award, Best Electronics Factory, Best Factory for Innovation – and were highly commended for their work on minimising energy use and environmental impact. They’re great to work with, their quality control process and attention to detail is exceptional (as those of you with UK Pis have been happy to tell us), and we can’t think of anyone who deserves those awards more.

What’s happened to the millionth British Raspberry Pi, you ask? Sony have made us a gold-plated case to keep it in, and we’ll be displaying it proudly here at Pi Towers.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s Technological Correspondent (and a man without whose blog there might never have been a Raspberry Pi – it was only when some personal footage he’d taken with his phone went viral that we realised that hundreds of thousands of you might actually be interested in buying the thing) dropped into our offices last week to do some filming about the millionth Pi. Keep an eye on BBC news bulletins today, and especially on BBC Breakfast – you might spot us there!

Updated to add: the BBC has a big article by Rory on its news website, along with some video of Gareth talking to Rory at the factory and showing him how the Pi is built, and an interview with Eben. Head over and have a look.


Davespice avatar

I did see Alan O’Donohoe on BBC Breakfast this morning! I would love to see a picture of the gold plated Pi! =)

clive avatar

For one million the case should be more outr√© — I think that we should bling it up with Pritt stick and a Little Mermaid jewellery kit.

liz avatar

Bring your Little Mermaid jewellery kit, and I shall provide the UHU.

modmypi avatar

Congrat’s guys, it’s a big achievement – here’s to the next million :)

Let’s have a gander at that gold encrusted case!

liz avatar

We’re going to pick it up next time we’re at the factory – Gareth and the gang didn’t fancy entrusting it to the post! (Don’t blame them…)

Mike Lawrence avatar

Bloody marvellous! A real credit to the team’s efforts – wear the flag with pride :D

Michael Horne avatar

Congratulations! Great for a UK business to have the plaudits it deserves.

edwinj85 avatar

It’s nice to have a big UK computer company again. Maybe we’ll get the car industry back eventually?

Well done!

JamesH avatar

Car industry never went away…Top Gear did a bit about it – the amount of automotive stuff made in the UK is astounding.

edwinj85 avatar

Technically, ARM (a British company) design most of the processors used in mobile phones across the planet. That said, very few British companies make computer that use them, other than the Pi foundation.

The car situation is similar. We have workers making cars in a lot of factories, but for foreign companies who often move the factories or have no real vested interest in out economy other than their corporate growth. This isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t the best thing for us.

I just wish we had an answer to GM, VW or Peugeot Citroen …

Jim Manley avatar

You mean a domestic vehicle industry featuring “products” from companies like Lucas Electric and British Leyland, which take the spirit of GM’s Chevy Nova in its Spanish translation to literally mean, “Does not go.”? :D

There isn’t a vehicle manufacturing company left on the planet that doesn’t rely on an intricate web of parts, components, and assemblies suppliers, even including the notably nationalistic Italian high-end sports car manufacturers. The reliability of parts coming from plants that only build specific parts has been raised so high that a South Korean Kia can have a much better radiator than one in a Lamborghini that’s built in-house, even with an almost-unlimited price tag.

Tomas M avatar

I hope you earn at least 1 GBP from each raspi sold, that would make you 1.7 million GBP in profit, which you could INVEST in the project to release a NEW version of raspberry PI (with POE support, faster CPU, and other features requested by users).

Take care.

liz avatar

And wheels! And a sandwich!

I have an idea – how about we invest it in educational materials and helping kids instead? (Which is what we’re doing…)

Dylan Pank avatar

I’m quite glad to see investment in things like software optimisation and development (such as Wayland/Weston) which could see major improvements in performance (over say merely doubling CPU power) and which could have benefits beyond just the RPi itself.

Tomas M avatar

It is of course up to you :) I think you can do actually both, to satisfy paying customers and help kids at the very same time. The more PIs you sell, the more kids you can help. I am sure investing something in making PI better or faster or smaller or improve it in any other way will bring you more sales which in turn will let you help more kids. And everybody will be happy! :)

Robert M avatar

Sorry, Liz, but I already ate the sandwich and now the spare wheel is nicely fastened about my midriff.

RaTTuS avatar

Grats to all – it’s a damn good start

ColinD avatar

Awsome+ and then some. Congratulations Liz, Eben et al. Production of the Pi at Sony in Wales is a Great Thing. Absolutely with you on quality control: 3 Sony-Pi’s owned and not a sausage, nada wrong with them. Extremely cleanly built (solder exactly where it should be, everything aligned perfectly).

Compared to most other electronics I buy which vary from “a little bit wonky” to “downright angular” in build quality I can say I’m very pleased with Sony’s commitment to manufacturing them.

mac avatar

I bought 5 in Britsh stores Farnell and RS so its bilion without 5 at least….

AndrewS avatar

One Meeellionn!!! ;-)
Congrats to Raspberry Pi Foundation and Sony on the milestone.

Do we need a new infographic? http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3011

Sven Harvey avatar

Hmm… I have a feeling Sony have been learning a couple of things from this for the PS Vita TV…

Alfon avatar

Where do the red Pis made in China fit in those numbers?

liz avatar

They don’t, actually – we haven’t had sales figures from them yet (I think they report annually), so we discounted them when we were doing the calculations.

Texy avatar

..probably 2 million really then!

LemmeFatale avatar

Many congratulations, guys – what an astounding achievement!

I hope that the gold-cased RPi is going to have some special purpose at Raspberry Towers – do you have anything in mind for it? :D

Dave Akerman avatar

Well I won’t be flying it, that’s for sure :-)

AndrewS avatar

How many extra balloons would it take to lift it?! ;)

liz avatar

I don’t think it’s so much a matter of weight, as much as it’s a matter of DAVE IS NOT ALLOWED TO CAUSE OUR GOLDEN PI TO PLUMMET FROM 40 K UP.

Imagine if it got stuck up a tree or something.

Dave Akerman avatar

^^ this :-)

RobV avatar

“Raspberry Towers”? Dont you mean Raspberry Tau -ers?

Jose avatar

Congratulations, I am proud to say that I contributed buying 8 of them for myself. I am wondering if there are plans to make next generation PI…

The Raspberry Pi Guy avatar

That’s amazing! Congratulations!

The Raspberry Pi Guy

meltwater avatar

I think you may have reached that “one child” who takes up engineering as a career…

Absolutely outstanding achievement, think of how many of those are sitting on kid’s desks blinking away while they spend hours programming one thing after another!

The Z80 got me started with computing, and I am sure the Raspberry Pi will be the same for many thousands of engineers in years to come.

HaggisHunter avatar

Speaking of the Z80, my first thought on seeing the headline was that the RPi has (probably) passed the ZX81 in total sales – I think it sold just over a million. In fact, iirc the Pi’s now half way to matching the Spectrum.

(as you probably gathered I also started on the Z80. As soon as I learned to program I started writing drivers – specifically, daemons to drive my parents up the wall…)

colin allison avatar

Congratulations guys – we knew you had it in you, right from the very first glimmers. Now, how about 5 million?

Rick avatar

Congrats on the milestone. Saw the Raspberry Jam bit on BBC News this morning.

It’d be great to know how many pi’s exist in total. When you get china’s numbers will you be publicly announcing the total number sold across the globe?

Here’s to Pi 2.0 (Even if Liz doesn’t like the idea yet :P)

Dave avatar

Just watched the report on BBC 6 o’clock news, can’t believe how slow schools are on the uptake of the Pi! The best educational tool we had was the cane ;)

LemmeFatale avatar

Regarding school uptake of the Raspberry Pi, Frank Chalk (the author of the equally hilarious and horrifying “It’s Your Time You’re Wasting – A Teacher’s Tales of Classroom Hell”) made a brief mention of that when praising the Raspberry Pi last December – http://frankchalk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/raspberry-pi.html .

He claimed, though he unfortunately doesn’t provide a citation for what the basis for said claim is, that private schools are ordering five times more of them. Assuming that’s accurate, then at least some schools aren’t being slow on the uptake. :P

Regina Anger avatar

Time for a RiP 2.0 with a more powerful SoC ;)

JBeale avatar

Congrats on this milestone! The RPi Model A & B are very useful, a tremendous value for the money and I hope they stick around for a while! In the Arduino world they keep releasing ever-more-powerful hardware variants but I think the original simple (& cheap) version is still the most popular. In some RPi applications (image & video processing) I wish for more horsepower, but in others (remote monitoring) I wish for lower power consumption, sort of opposite directions. If I had one wish it would be a very low power “Sleep” mode with quick wakeup.

Bryan avatar

Image and video is what it excels at… you just need to learn OpenMax and OpenGL, or OpenVG. I’m getting about 500 Mpixels per second out of mine.

javaboyuk avatar

Its great news!

But lets get a model C out with dual or quad processor so you can learn about real multiprocessing. And hopefully better disk I/O ?

But yes the power usage right down is great .


Robert M avatar

I get multi-core processing by placing two Raspberry Pi’s side by side.

JBeale avatar

…and of course the price is what really enables my applications, the laser focus on that price point was spot-on. So please don’t change that :-)

Mike Marshall avatar

This is great news and a fantastic achievement for all concerned. Well done!

I live just three miles from the Sony plant at Pencoed, so this gives me additional warmth knowing this great success for UK design & production is happening so close to home. I haven’t seen it mentioned on here, but just last week the Sony Technology Plant at Pencoed was voted Britain’s Best Factory at the 2013 Best Factory Awards (BFA), so they’re obviously a great choice for the RasPi production.

It would thus appear that the take-up of Raspberry Pi’s in schools as a teaching aid still remains somewhat sparse with far too much money being spent on vanity IT learning ‘investments’ such as the ¬£millions being spent by the Welsh government on providing iPads to all secondary school pupils. The money already lost through thefts and breakages would fund an awful lot of Pi’s.

I’m a child of the seventies and thus class myself as a hobbyist looking to reawaken that sense of pioneering we felt back in the day of ‘personal computers’, but I really hope there’s enough life left in our youngsters to see there is more fun in doing and learning than there is in Candy Crush and Angry Birds (whatever they are!).

Hopefully the politicians will soon help truly push things forward, but until then it’s great to see so much positive press on learning computing and programming rather than the usual hyperbole afforded to using the latest ‘gadget’ or ‘game’. For that alone, this week’s announcements are so welcome.

Thanks once again to all involved.

Mike Marshall avatar

Oops, sorry for the messed-up hyperlink!

AndrewS avatar

I wonder if being on BBC News all day will lead to a nice sales bump? :)

Mazza avatar

Despite working in electronics for 10 years, the speed and accuracy of pick and place machines still amazes me.

James Allen avatar

Congrats – you must be pinching yourself to make sure it’s real!

Just out of interest, how many of those are Model As? Obviously a much smaller number as the B has been around a lot longer and gets more press, but I’m a fan of low powered battery driven things, and my Model A runs for hours on a small LIPO!

Ambient avatar

Congrats on this milestone from Washington DC, where our very own Maker Faire has just convened. It was mobbed with kids! Many Pi’s were about, including mine which I have used to serve attendee information by Wi-Fi — without the Internet — at technical conferences and even a dance festival.

Bakpappa avatar

That’s interesting. I was quite surpriced when I last month bought a Pi and it still says it’s made in China. And this is a retailer here in Finland which gets them one or two at a time, but maybe from their main warehouse.

Dave avatar

I’ve bought 3 through Amazon in the last month (only just got into them but keep finding specific uses for them). All shipped by Amazon but technically from 3 different companies. All were ultimately supplied by RS but like you was surprised to find every one built in China.

I’m guessing that a few people have quite a stock sat on shelves.

Tom avatar

Maybe McDonald’s will lend the sign: “over xx million sold”.
To say “Congratulations” seems inadequate. I’m told that my Colonial ancestors said “Huzzah” at high audio levels. So, “Huzzah!”

Jim Manley avatar

Might as well just go with McDonalds’ current sign, which just says something like, “Billions and Billions Served”, to spare the cost of having to come out with a Pi Count Sign v. 2.0. Gotta keep those prices at $25 and $35 per Model A and B, respectively, and a sure way to blow the budget is on Fancy Schmancy signs! Now, if the sign were lit with zillions of LEDs controlled by Pi boards to create 3-D animations … :lol:

Robert M avatar

Congratulations! That’s more numbers than I can count on my fingers and toes!

I love all my Raspberry Pi computers and I’m really glad the foundation’s work has been so successful and well-recognized.

Rawk On! \m/

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