Fresh Model B stock in production

When we announced the launch of the Model B+ back in July, we emphasized that we’d be keeping the Model B in production. Since then, we’ve been (pleasantly) surprised by the ongoing demand for Model B from industrial customers, and a couple of weeks ago some tens of thousands of new units started to roll off the line at the Sony plant in Wales.

Boards going through automount

Boards going through automount

Completed six-up panels ready for testing

Completed six-up panels ready for testing

A Model B in its test jig

A Model B in its test jig

Packaged units, ready to ship to element14

Packaged units, ready to ship to element14

There’s still a substantial order backlog, but you can pre-order units from element14 here.

20 comments

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It was amazing how many requests we’ve been getting from all over the world. We finally received new stock on Monday.

Will the B stay in production for a while? Or has it been one last production run for this model?

– Rogier

Liz Upton

It’s staying in production for as long as there is demand, so no, this is not a last production run.

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Ahh nice to hear. Will make lots of people less anxious I think :-)

– Rogier

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Will there be some sort of “warning” if it’s about to be discontinued should demand drop at some point?

Liz Upton

Yes, there will be.

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Great, thanks :)

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On a slight tangent, are there any plans for a model A+? In the meantime, I presume the model A is still the pi of choice for battery powered projects, even though the B+ has lower power consumption compared to the model B shown in the picture.

Liz Upton

Yes, there are – we’ve discussed it here before (go and check out the forums and previous blog posts, if you haven’t already). There will be an announcement here when it’s available.

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I’m not an insider but I would guess they want to clear the backlog on the B and get the compute module properly released before moving on to the A+.

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Wow, can I get one of those six-up panels? That would be so cool to have. :D

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Buy six and some No Nails. Or use Lego.

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Ooh, I’m glad about that!
Means I can get another, and fit it into my project.
(As an aside, I live in Oulu, Finand. Gobsmacked to see some Raspberry Pi (B+) in my local electronics shop. ELFA. €40, which I think is reasonable.) According to Ryan’s site, there are quite a few here in Oulu (I have two so far…)

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I don’t understand why there is demand for the B model when there is an improved B+. Is it a lack of marketing?

Why wouldn’t the foundation want to rationalise production/reduce manufacturing costs?

Confused!

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The Pi has considerably outgrown its original intended audience of young, budding computer scientists (and various engineers that also make use of a grounding in computer science).

As the Pi model B volume developed, we saw an important minority of sales going towards extremely large batched bulk orders of model Bs that we can only assume were for commercial or industrial applications.

One the pitfalls of changing the form factor from B to B+ (even if it is positive in pretty much all respects) is that existing volume customers have to change their manufacturing, packaging, testing to accommodate the new version. This is the reason that the B is still in demand.

Through time we would expect such customers to migrate to the compute module plus custom baseboard (which bottoms out to be $30 plus a lower aggregate installation cost) but as a stop-gap we need to make the B available such that these companies don’t experience a complete drought in revenue.

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thanks for the interesting reply. I understand now. :-)

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It’s not just volume customers. Designing cases and getting moulds made/tooling set up is expensive.

If you are making a few hundred units a year of some custom case soloution the last thing you want is a form factor change.

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But why would they need to keep the model B in production when the B+ has all the features of the B, as well as many improvements? Is there something about the B vs. the B+ that I am missing?

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Size and form factor. Consider the PiCE case. Can’t fit a b+ to it.

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Thanks for explaining the reason for the high demand for the model B versus the model B+. Now it makes more sense to me.

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Will this be available in USA/Canada at any point? Newark says they will not be stocking any more of the model B.

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