As you will have noticed, it can be hard to buy a Raspberry Pi unit from stock at the moment. Several factors are contributing to this, and we thought it would be helpful to provide an update on what’s been happening since we last wrote about this in October.
Over the last six months we’ve been working hard to get more Raspberry Pi products built and shipped to customers. Despite a variety of supply-chain challenges, we’ve consistently been able to build around half a million of our single-board computers and Compute Module products each month. As we said in October, the 28nm BCM2711 part used on Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 has been more readily available than the 40nm parts used on our older products.
We have a strong pipeline of components, and will continue to build units at at least this rate over the coming months.
As we’ve said before, the current situation is as much a demand shock as a supply shock: demand for Raspberry Pi products increased sharply from the start of 2021 onwards, and supply constraints have prevented us from flexing up to meet this demand, with the result that we now have significant order backlogs for almost all products. In turn, our many resellers have their own backlogs, which they fulfil when they receive stock from us.
These backlogs absorb Raspberry Pi units as fast as (or faster than!) we can produce them, with the result that little of our production volume ends up being immediately available on reseller websites. Where units do appear, bots often attempt to scalp stock which is then resold at higher prices elsewhere. Many Approved Resellers have implemented single-unit limits to combat this, with Adafruit and others going further and enforcing two-factor authentication – we’re encouraging other Approved Resellers to consider this route.
We spend a lot of time on backlog management. We have to balance volume demand from commercial and industrial customers with the demand we see from individuals. Right now we feel the right thing to do is to prioritise commercial and industrial customers – the people who need Raspberry Pis to run their businesses – we’re acutely aware that people’s livelihoods are at stake. There is currently enough supply to meet the needs of those customers. (Read to the end if you’re in this position and are struggling.) Unfortunately this comes at the cost of constrained supply for individual customer, who might be looking to buy a small number for home projects or for prototyping.
So, what should you do if you need to buy a Raspberry Pi in 2022?
Always buy from an Approved Reseller
We can’t emphasise this enough! Our Approved Resellers get preferential access to supplies of Raspberry Pi products. They’re also held to a single price: those people you see complaining on social media that they’ve seen Raspberry Pis on sale for vastly inflated amounts of money aren’t buying from Approved Resellers, who will all sell you a Raspberry Pi product for the price we state on our products pages plus your local taxes and shipping where appropriate.
If you’re a consumer, click on the “Buy Now” on a Raspberry Pi product page to find an Approved Reseller in your region. Some Approved Resellers take pre-orders, and should be able to give you a good indication of how long it will take to fulfil an order; others don’t, in which case you may want to use tools such as rpilocator to keep an eye on which resellers have recently received stock.
Consider Raspberry Pi 400, or Raspberry Pi Pico
These products are generally in better stock positions.
We set aside a certain amount of BCM2711 silicon supply for Raspberry Pi 400, which plays an important role in our mission to provide general-purpose PC computing at an affordable price. Many of our Approved Resellers have this product in stock today.
While they are not full-fledged PCs like other Raspberry Pi products, Raspberry Pi Pico, and the many third-party boards based on our RP2040 microcontroller, can be used for many of the same embedded applications. We have plenty of stock of Pico, and of RP2040.
Get in touch!
If you require volume supply of Raspberry Pi products for an industrial or commercial application, you can contact us at [email protected]. There remain levers we can pull, and we’ll do our best to support you.