We’ve started manufacture!

Raspberry Pis started being made a couple of days ago, but I was forbidden to tell you about it until signed contracts and receipts for payment had arrived – it’s been killing me, especially since I’ve had tens of you asking me when manufacturing would start every day for the last few weeks. I am not good at keeping secrets.

This means that the first units from the first batch will be rolling off the line at the end of January. This first batch will consist only of Model Bs, although you will be able to buy Model As later on. Details about whether we’ll wait for all 10k to come off the line before starting sales, and about what date we’ll be starting on, will come later; so that gives you something else for you to shift around nervously on your chairs about for at least another week or so. (Please stop emailing me about it. Please.)

Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to manage manufacture in quite the way we’d hoped. As you will know if you’ve been reading the forums and the articles on this website, the Raspberry Pi Foundation had intended to get all its manufacture done in the UK; after all, we’re a UK charity, we want to help bootstrap the UK electronics industry, and doing our manufacturing in the UK seemed another way to help reach our goals.

We investigated a number of possible UK manufacturers, but encountered a few problems, some of which made matters impossible. Firstly, the schedule for manufacture for every UK business we approached was between 12 and 14 weeks (compared to a 3-4 week turnaround in the Far East). That would have meant you’d be waiting three months rather than three weeks to buy your Raspberry Pi, and we didn’t think that was acceptable.

Secondly, we found that pricing in the UK varied enormously with factories’ capacity. If a factory had sufficient capacity to do the work for us, they were typically quoting very high prices; we’d expected a delta between manufacture pricing between the UK and the Far East, but these build prices not only wiped out all our margin, but actually pushed us into the red. Some factories were able to offer us prices which were marginally profitable, but they were only able to produce at most a few hundred units a month; and even then, we were doing better by more than five dollars per unit if we moved that manufacture to the Far East. When you’re talking about tens of thousands of units per batch, losing that sum of money for the charity – a sum that we can spend on more manufacture, more outreach work and more research and development – just to be able to say we’d kept all the work in one country, starts to look irresponsible.

I’d like to draw attention to one cost in particular that really created problems for us in Britain. Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things, and it’s an issue we’ve taken up with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

So we have had to make the pragmatic decision and look to Taiwan and China for our manufacturing, at least for this first batch. We are still working hard on investigating UK possibilities; at the moment, we’re investigating an option which would mean that all the Model As (whose demand we expect to be much lower than that of the Model Bs) will be built in the UK, and at the moment that’s looking quite do-able, although it’s not as efficient economically as doing it in Asia. I’ll fill you in on how that goes later on.



JamesH avatar


Real shame about UK manufacture – they seem to be cuting off the nose to spite the face here! Both the manufacturers AND the government.

liz avatar

Couldn’t agree more. It’s been unendingly frustrating trying to get this sorted out. I do hope people understand why we had to make the decision; Twitter and the forums were so enthusiastic about the UK thing that we really feel rubbish letting them down.

Jed Moore avatar

Maybe you could start an e-petition on the government website to try and get the tax issue discussed. Im sure you could easily manage to get over 100,000 signatures with a little help from the media :).

liz avatar

The outcome of our meetings with DBIS was that they *are* discussing it; unfortunately, changing these things takes a lot of time. But it looks like they are listening.

Matt Hawkins avatar

I would start the petition anyway. Politicians have a habit of “forgetting” to follow up on things they promise to take a look at.

If they are genuine, 100K signatures won’t be problem for them will it ?

Simon Cording avatar

I agree with Jed and Matt, there is absolutely no harm in starting an e-petition; as well as letting the DBIS do their thing… This, if I ever I heard one, is a story that could finally help highlight just how unfair the taxation system is here in the UK…

And what makes it even worse is that you’re a registered charity trying to do something positive; whilst big corps/banks are getting away with fleecing our economy on a daily basis…

Trust me, you’d get the required 100,000 signatures easily…

Lynbarn avatar

Try this! http://epetitions.direct.gov.u…..tions/2715

Simon Cording avatar

Unfortunately, the above link is dead… To sign the e-petition, please try using the following link instead:


Burngate avatar

79 signatures so far
Watching that petition is almost as much fun as waiting for our Pi.

Dan avatar

You know what they’ll do with that petition though? As opposed to solving the tax issues to encourage more manufacturing in the UK, they’ll just up the import duty instead. Theiving buggers :(

Ed Wilson avatar

We should all work to get signatures on this petition – use all your networks to spread it. But the petition process is very slow and there’s a budget coming in March. Find your MP and raise the issue with him/her.

Peter Barrett avatar

This e-petition (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27158) only works if you’re a UK citizen! I’m from Ireland but would still prefer if ye could help your own country rather than going abroad. Anyway to make an international petition?

ramon1928 avatar

You can endorse this idea at 38degrees so it becomes one of our official campaigns, which would probably create more than enough moemntum: http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2507259-change-import-duty-rules-to-encourage-eu-and-briti

Stuporhero avatar

Are the manufacturing facilities you have used in the middle east “ethical” ie not sweatshops a-la early ipods?

liz avatar

Yes. For obvious reasons, that’s pretty important to us! (We are well aware that Chinese people are human too; my Dad is one, for a start…)

stuporhero avatar

Consider my foot in it. :)

Jason avatar

Considering the latest goings on af Foxconn, I am inclined to ask if you make sure all your electronics are ethically sourced? I am guessing not, in which case, why would you rule out the Raspberry Pi if you did not rule out that nice LCD/Plasma/whatever TV you bought?

The only reason you thought to ask was because they have publically told you that they Pi will be made outside teh UK.

Jeff avatar

I don’t see the problem, it’s cheaper, more efficient and faster made in the Far East… why be ashamed of that fact? And your dad being Chinese also means YOU are Chinese too… but you’re writing this like you’re almost ashamed of the fact that it’s made in China.

liz avatar

I’m not Chinese; I’m not English either. I’m proudly mixed-race, and not at all ashamed to be manufacturing in China; I *am*, however, very aware that our decision to do that was going to attract comments of the less-than-positive sort that you’ll see here, which dents the enthusiasm somewhat. (I’ve also received some tremendously sanctimonious emails on the subject.)

Mark Bannister avatar

My wife is Chinese, she’s been living in this country for over 10 years now but has horror stories to tell about the standard of life in Chinese factories. It is a subject that troubles me greatly. One has to wonder why they are cheaper? Are UK prices actually more representative of how units should be priced if the workforce is treated ethically? What measures are you taking to ensure that your money is having a positive impact on the standard of living for the Chinese workers who will be baking your Pis?

Jeff avatar

Surely you’re both English AND Chinese? No need to shun any/both. From the tone of the piece it just sounded like it was “oh great, the Chinese are making it” when it shouldn’t be that way if everything is logical about it. Sure, a British designed product made in Britain would sound good, but I’d really rather have it asap, as long as the workers (wherever they are from) are treated well. And especially if orders are going to take off, I know the frenzy of a product launch.

stuporhero avatar

I wish I never brought it up. Sorry, Liz.

Armen avatar

“What measures are you taking to ensure that your money is having a positive impact on the standard of living for the Chinese workers who will be baking your Pis?”

– the very fact that it’s going to cost $25/$35 means children of those hardworking people will be able to have one and educate themselves with it “instead of giving a man a fish teach him how to fish” [it’s said to be a Chinese proverb I don’t know if it really is or not]

– at this stage let’s just hope that the facility producing Raspies is not one of those horror stories we’ve heard and is exploiting workers 24 hours a day 7 days a week prison like conditios. After all [it’s logical to assume] NOT ALL factories are like that.

liz avatar

Please do not presume to tell me what race I am. It’s patriarchal and patronising; I’ve had a lifetime to work it out for myself. I am sure you mean well, Jeff, which is why I haven’t banned you.

Martin avatar

I just read the remaining comments. I should have done that before I posted. Sorry for that!
For me it is an important thing to talk about ethical production, because I don’t want people to suffer under what I consume, but we shouldn’t insult each other…

Is it possible to get more information where the Raspberries are produced?

Thank you so much!

Martin avatar

Thank you for asking that question. I had the same question in my mind. :)

Bob H avatar

Would it not be possible to make them in Europe to at least reduce the carbon footprint? Hungary & Poland have some pretty respectable EMS factories. I used to use Elcoteq but I think they are in financial difficulty but did you try Fideltronik or Sowar? I am very disappointed that you couldn’t produce in Europe at the very least!

Curinga avatar

Poland.. help Poland.. the only green island for now ;).
Sorry, I had to do that ;). But question remain this same. Have you tried find opportunity in Europe (Poland for example – yes, Poland is in Europe ;))?
And for those who do not know anything about Hungary ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1J5C1ichqU

El Paso avatar

Absolutely true – Poland, Hungary, Czech or Slovak are good choices IMHO.

Greetings from Czech :-)

Armen avatar

You forgot to mention Poland! :/

Taras Zakharchenko avatar

I suppose R-Pi can be produced alomst in any european country. It is just a question of money.

Jerry Carter avatar

I live in the US and so cannot sign the petition (naturally) to change UK Tax laws to make it more feasible to manufacture in the UK (my second fav country!) but I would gladly pay twice what you’re asking if you could get it made in England, Ireland, or Poland. There are far too many issues to go into here as to why I think it’s important to move work away from China to friendlier shores but I urge you to strongly consider the future cost of this decision. Product cost is but one thing to look at. Our global economy is rapidly becoming unbalanced with the far east on the heavy end. Consider that European and North American economic zones are suffering mightily as we consumers go on the cheap, continually. We could change this if but for the will.

Warmest regards with great anticipation for R-Pi!

Michael avatar

I also live in the US. I would agree that paying more is an option. I also think that keeping the price down to make it affordable to people where $35 would be the limit is also required.

I would love to see different versions of the same product without seeing your margins decrease. $35 would be the cheapest option. Then offer a UK built option and even a USA built option for more money. Keep your profit the same and raise the price for those options. I could afford and would pay an extra $10 or $15 for a USA built option.

Gannon avatar

Raspberry Pi is hardware born once, and taxed once. Sad, but true.
The data produced by Raspberry Pi should be so lucky …

The European Commission is trying to make that data a Fixed Asset (Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS), Public Comment open until Feb. 6) meaning the data is also born once. The alternative is full employment for Lawyers who will get to examine the data product every time it crosses a border and even if the crossing does not result in any tax the speed of crossing will be slowed – a Lawyer’s Tax.

Pay now, or pay later, again, and again, and again.

Mark22 avatar

I looked it up and it seems that the import duty thing is an EU wide problem (i.e. nothing the UK government can do anything about directly and it will apply to all EU members). :-(

Sandy avatar

Can’t wait!!

Michael avatar

yeah, good news!
but my guess is that those 10k devices will be sold out in under 5 minutes – depending on the power of your webserver :)

Anthony Hamilton-Thompson avatar

Running on a cluster of Raspberrypi SoC’s :P

Doug avatar

Don’t laugh .. I want to try that .. LOL

Oscar avatar

i agree, lets do it.

Ben avatar

I’m looking forward to buy one ;-)

[…] Here is the latest announcement from the Raspberry Pi team. (Source) […]

seekerm avatar

Finally! I am just curious will the launch be announced beforehand?

MikeDX avatar

This decision is something a lot of companies have to deal with daily. Shame on the gov (past and present) for allowing uk manufacturing to die like this.

Of course if they fix it, they will just put duty on completed items instead of removing it on components!

I cant wait to order! Model a or b i dont mind.

Massive congrats!

scep avatar

“Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax.”

Well done Tony and Dave, you great big tools!

Seriously – don’t feel bad about this. All together now!: It’s not your fault … It’s not your fault … It’s not your fault… :)

scep avatar

Hey! It ate my ‘Good Will Hunting’ tags – have you got a Robin Williams filter one here?

Stephen avatar

I would gladly sign a 10 downing st petition if raspberrypi.org set one up.

stuporhero avatar

Anyone can set up a petition, it’s if RasPi are happy for us to do so.

Bruno Girin avatar
Will avatar

Great news! Looking forward to finally getting my hands on one!

Maybe this has been mentioned on the forum but I’ve not seen it… any idea of how much notice will be given on the site / mailing list before they are actually on sale?

I hope everything goes well in the manufacturing and a happy new year to everyone at the Raspberry Pi Foundation :)

erest avatar

It was a great idea to help the UK I understand the decision, maybe after the first couple of runs you will be able to bring manufacturing home?

Jan Warnking avatar

How about also offering a version manufactured in the UK at a slightly higher price ? I bet some people would prefer that option. I would.

rew avatar

Let me take a guess….

At 10k boards per run, you pay a lot less per-item than for a 1k board run. If 90% of the people chose the cheaper version, where does that leave you? Lots of extra costs -> the additional costs are prohibitive -> nobody will chose that option.

JanW avatar

From what Liz said, manufacturers with lower production capacities actually seem to charge less (which is not what one would expect, I agree).

Chook avatar

and wait 3 months before buying one… nah mate, I cant wait.

Mark22 avatar

The 3 months is a pipeline thing. Once production is up an running, then a three month pipeline isn’t a killer.

DaQatz avatar

Damn, on the where your are manufacturing side. And WOOT on the fact that you are manufacturing.

Shane Hudson avatar

Great news! Shame about not being able to support the UK factories though… are you not able to claim tax back being a charity?

BlueClogger avatar

Is the 10k first batch a bit of a red herring? – will you shut the door after the first batch have gone, or accept the orders and have folk wait until subsequent lots become available?
Agree – shame about the UK side of things, but maybe when the initial rush settles down it can be looked at again.

adam williams avatar

I too would be up for this, then rasp could take money, put it in the bank and claim interest, until the boards are manufactured and shipped. I for one would not begrudge a charity having £15 or £25 for a few weeks and making money on it.

orbitoid avatar

Then maybe Liz can start breating again and stop worrying about her motgage.

yannoslemanos avatar

thank you for this information that we hold in suspense! Bravo for all this work done to try to make the machines in your country is the least we can do … It is a pity to have to decentralize it’s true work, but I agree with those who say that your work should be tax-free! It’s in a voluntary and carritatif and you deserve to keep your goals! Courage and congratulations to you!

Pete avatar

10,000 units is not near enough. At this point, your website is crashing when you post news. Imagine what will happen when you have a device to sell… The demand for the Pi will vastly outstrip your current numbers.
Just letting you know,

JamesH avatar

Lots of Psychic people around who can predict demand – but who is right? Next batch will follow very quickly IF the first sells out fast.

liz avatar

Indeed – and I’m pretty sure that those psychic people would be a bit more cautious if it was *their* mortgage that this thing was secured on.

Menthe avatar

This psychic suggests that you beef up your servers for the coming onslaught, at any rate.

I’ve been waiting for mobile.free.fr to come back up all day long. They just launched something that will disrupt the mobile landscape, a lot of people are very interested and have hammered the site trying to subscribe, but I don’t think a lot of orders went through.

Rip avatar

Take your point Liz, but I do tend to agree with Pete. At these prices, and with the flexibility of the Pi – not to mention open source, the amount of publicity it’s getting worldwide, etc etc – then I think the first batch will sell out in next to no time.

Like hot cakes, if not pi(ies) :-)

tom avatar

I really hope it works out for you guys. The OpenPandora people had a lot of troubles with chinese manufactures and now they produce in Germany.
But they were total noobs, You and Eben are super heroes ;-)

I wish you all the best.

Armen avatar

That’s why Raspi guys are doing a wise thing no to accept pre-orders.

GAvin avatar

That would be a fairly good argument for pre-orders (at least now you have a manufacturing order). You could place an contract for the second batch before the first is even delivered knowing the cash is in the bank to pay for it.
At $35 I am happy to pay a couple of weeks in advance.

Kyle avatar

Many people that preorder things seem to care when they ship. Personally i’d be happy to preorder one and wait a month to one year or w/e delays wouldn’t bother me but I know most people would at least slightly care. :)

Piman Pipi avatar

Would it be possible to kit the components as one product for import and get around the tax laws in a legal way? Your UK manufactures could open the kits and assemble. Also, if you ever provide a kit for hobbyists, please partner with http://schmartboard.com/.

JamesH avatar

Very people people have the skills to put together a board with BGA devices on it. So no kits. However kits of parts and sent in one lot from abroad might work – sure a previous company I worked for did something like that.

Piman Pipi avatar

James, take a look at the link I posted: http://schmartboard.com/. You’ll find the pendulum has swung to meet the package complexity problem. Look at the BGA video. It is surprising.

prehensile avatar

Subtle, dude.

Piman Pipi avatar

I have no connection with the project.

boeboe avatar

Indeed, surprisingly big and low density.

Piman Pipi avatar

Yes, you need something to take these small chip packages and mount them unto leads large enough to work with your hands. Low density is a feature, not a bug. It is for hobbyists and prototypes. I guess I’m easily amused because I thought it was the coolest thing.

JamesH avatar

I reiterate – very few people have the skills. I didn’t say NO people have the skills. If you are mad enough to want to solder a 0.3mm pitch BGA you go ahead. I have better things to do with my time. Notwithstanding the huge cost of supplying the parts as a kit (more than an assembled board)

Piman Pipi avatar

Did you watch the video? A novice can solder a BGA and it is quick: http://schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=resources_howto#7

~Neil~ avatar

You’ll need to wait until they come out with a 0.4mm pitch BGA board if you want to mount a 2835. So far they only go to 1.0mm.

shaurz avatar

The main problem I see with that is that the components need to be on tapes for the pick-and-place machine to assemble the boards, so separating the parts in to separate kits would not work.

Jongoleur avatar


For the Foundation and for the effort thats been made to do everything in the UK. Fingers crossed that what comes out of the Far East is of acceptable yield and quality. I hope you manage to make the Model A’s in the UK, I’d buy one of those jist to support production! :-)

I think the tax situation has been mentioned before. Its a bit of a bugger; I suppose its a relic of protectionism for a UK components industry that no longer exists but acts as an appendix that flares up and causes all sorts of unintended consequences.

Never mind. Its just a bit ironic that something that has to be built 9000 miles away (give or take a smidgeon) and imported can be done more cheaply than having it made on our doorstep.

Here’s hoping that common sense prevails once things start moving!

liz avatar

The quality’s great – we’ve had samples from them that we’ve been very satisfied with. +1 on the common sense thing. :(

arm2 avatar

Great news! Credit card here just awaiting the day.

Re UK manufacture. The problem is not down to Tony and/or Dave but the EU! The rules apply to all EU countries.
Re query on Charitable status: There are very few taxes that Charities can reclaim, Import duties and VAT are not among them.
However I think a buy one/gift one scheme can be very tax efficient (VAT and Gift Aid) and I’m sure the foundation have this in hand

Indy avatar

No, it is not a EU problem.

I do not know if the UK rules are plain weird or if they are just misunderstood and more or less the same as the Dutch rules:

In The Netherlands, you always pay VAT for the end product. You pay VAT for components bought within the country, and no VAT for components from elsewhere. However, all VAT you pay can be substracted from the VAT you have to charge for your product, so in the end you pay the same amount of VAT. Import duties are on top of that, but either are very low or work the same as VAT. Or in other words, you always pay the same amount of VAT.

It’s not called Value Added Tax for nothing. Importing stuff just means you pay less VAT for the components, but have to pay more VAT for the final product.

Richard Wooding avatar


jojopi avatar


Daniel M. Basso avatar


On-topic: great work guys! Please strengthen your servers for the day you’ll be accepting orders! :)

TheEponymousBob avatar

Well done to all concerned!

Try not to feel you’ve let anyone down re. UK manufacturing—it’s not your fault if even the IR is against you. If the boards sell as well as I hope and believe they will, I reckon the foundation will have earned the clout to be paid attention to over such lunacy. After all, encouraging growth—which this project has written all over it—is the best way we have to revive our economy.

In the meantime, is there someone to whom we should be writing?

liz avatar

It’s worth sending something to your local MP – http://www.writetothem.com is the easiest way to do it (and it does work).

TheEponymousBob avatar

Was already drafting one to her just wondered whether there was anyone I should cc :)

glenalec avatar

Over here in Aus, I tend to cc in a couple of the national newspapers’ front desks when I write to the polies.

Andy B avatar

Mine’s done:


Nicky Morgan MP

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Dear Nicky Morgan,

I wanted to bring to your attention the great work the Rasberry Pi foundation ( http://www.raspberrypi.org ) is doing in bringing a project to market to encourage the next generation of computing and electronic engineers in the UK.

They are building an incredibly cheap but reasonably specified computer for kids to learn to program and build electrical circuits.

They were hoping to do all the manufacturing in the UK as well however the tax rules mean that if they bring the components in they are taxed on importing them but if they bring the finished product in they are not charged tax. This has forced them to do the manufacturing in the far east in order to meet their low-cost goals. Such a shame a shame for UK manufacturing industry. I’m sure a similar scenario is playing out in all sorts of industries around the country and costing the UK many skilled manufacturing jobs.

I would be delighted if you could look into this a little and exert whatever influence you can to have this situation reviewed.

Yours sincerely,

LordAstral avatar

If you don’t mind, I think I will use your words as a template and send an email to the Prime Minister’s office. I’m American, so while I don’t expect my words to be particularly swaying, perhaps if your government sees a chance at global demand it might interest them.

Andy B avatar

More = Merrier :) That’s why I posted it ;)

TJ avatar

I too have written to my local MP. I’ve revised your original words to put more explicit details in – non-experts may well misinterprate the inferences we understand:

Dear …

I want to bring to your attention the great work the Raspberry Pi foundation ( http://www.raspberrypi.org ) – a charity – is doing in bringing a project to market to encourage the next generation of computing and electronic engineers in the UK.

They are building an incredibly cheap (~ £16 to £30) but reasonably specified computer for kids to learn to program and build electrical circuits – a similar concept to the Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum and Acorn BBC Micro of the 1980s.

The device is designed around a microprocessor designed by ARM of Cambridge (the same company that designs the processors in almost all ‘smart’ phones globally) and incorporated into a system-on-chip (SoC) manufactured by BroadCom.

The project has a global buzz surrounding it as pent-up desire to tinker is being expressed by tens of thousands of people even before the units have reached the market, and the project has major interest from educational institutions, computer scientists, engineers as well as the target demographic – young people.

Raspberry Pi were hoping to do all the manufacturing in the UK.

Current tax law dictates that if the components (which for the most part are manufactured in other countries) are imported prior to assembly onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) they are taxed on importation.

However, if Raspberry Pi have the components and PCBs assembled in Asia and import the finished product they escape the import duty.

Raspberry Pi had planned to have the assembly done in the UK but the import duty would mean the products would cost more to make than they are to be sold for.

This has forced Raspberry Pi to contract the manufacturing to firms in Asia in order to meet their low-cost goals.

Such a shame a shame for UK manufacturing industry. I’m sure a similar scenario is playing out in all sorts of industries around the country and costing the UK many skilled manufacturing jobs.

I would be delighted if you could look into this and exert whatever influence you can to have this situation reviewed.

I understand the Department for Business Innovation and Skills is currently ‘discussing’ this.

Burngate avatar

Mine’s a bit shorter. Also sent to MEPs. Do you think we’ll crash the Westminster server?
Dear Adam Afriyie,
You and other MPs may already have been contacted about this, but I would like to add my voice to the choir.
A British charity, RaspberryPi.org, is trying to improve the teaching of computing in schools by producing a small cheap computer. It has a good deal of support, locally in the UK, in the EU and internationally around the world.
To support British manufacturing, they wished to produce it in the UK. However the tax situation means that assembly here incurs tax while assembly in the far east (using the same components) does not.
This seems to be counterproductive regarding the UK economy, and indeed also the EU economy.
Yours sincerely,
J Andrew Suter

Jeremy Burton avatar

Great to hear that you’ve started manufacture. Disappointing to hear that it had to be done overseas. I hope that situation could change in future but understand the challenges you’re facing. I work in teacher education (digital technology and education is my area) and I’ve already secured funding to purchase a Raspberry Pi for each of our student ICT teachers. Can wait to see what they will do with these. The plan is to start our very own hackerspace. I’m very excited about this and I know that some of the student teachers are too. Many thanks to you all and keep up the great work.

Armen avatar


The initial intention to produce it locally is quite understandable but when there are hurdles there are hurdles and also these days things are different, these days things are all global [a good reminder of built-in internet connection for next generations :P {for the same price! :P } for now a wifi dongle will do just fine I guess]. You wanted to fill the void in UK schools, but actually it’s a void felt worldwide. Keeping it inexpesive by manufacturing it in far east fills a global void! Computers have gotten so sophisticated, fancy and consumer oriented that they are not fun for education anymore and this is not a local problem, it’s a global problem. You guys might very well be able to achieve more than what “one laptop per child” achieved. And please consider an inexpensive plastic case for the pie :)

Armen avatar

let me clarify myself, I wrote the sentence in a wrong way: by “built-in internet connection for next generations” I meant built-in wi-fi. But I really don’t have any clue how much it would add to the price if it was built in this first generation. I remember coming acrossing usb wifi dongles for $7, so it’s reasonable to assume it would have added less than that to the cost which is a good option for the next generation or maybe not! … where there is a dongle which can be shared among devices why building it in the device … anyways … that’s for the future :) … and maybe other more important upgrades have higher priority like 512MB of RAM

[…] manufactured $25 computers should be coming off the production line late January 2012. Read the official announcement from Raspberry Pi below. Raspberry Pis started being made a couple of days ago, but I was forbidden […]

Eggn1n3 avatar

Wow, pretty amazing those tax rules in the UK. But he, at least you have made people aware of this now! Btw, I agree with Pete that I hope your website can handle the 10kof orders. Lately I get a lot of “Cannot connect to database” when something new has been posted…

liz avatar

We’re moving to a different host before launch – and the shop is hosted by an e-commerce company (not us) with servers of steel, so there won’t be a problem

zag avatar


I hope the e-commerce company has a good queuing system on web transactions.

Burngate avatar

Steel? They’ll need kryptonite!

Armen avatar

“Lately I get a lot of “Cannot connect to database” when something new has been posted…”

Am I the only one who gets excited seeing that error message?? :D …. I don’t remember any error message that made me happy before :)

RaTTuS avatar

That’s the slash dot effect for the forums

Intrigued onlooker avatar

I love the smell of melted servers in the morning ;D

One would think most people interested in RPi knows but for those unfamiliar the “Slashdot effect” –usually called “Slashdotting”, “having been Slashdotted”, etc.– originates historically from huge and incapacitating amounts of activity that are sometimes unintentionally generated by the members of the Slashdot.org community when something is brought to their attention. To learn more about Slashdot,org and Slashdotting one can look it up on its Wikipedia page and visit Slashdot.org.

Raspberry Pi has (of course) been mentioned several times on Slashdot.org as have this current RPi announcement :)

Armen avatar

Thanks for the info!!! ;) it was much needed!!!!

JustACat avatar

Whatever it was, I can not wait to finally buy a thing! :)

tom avatar

Hooray, finally Eben pressed the button!

JamesH avatar

I think Liz presses the button in that household.

Spyder avatar

Glad you still have your sense of humor. I imagine I’d lose mine rather quickly if I was tasked with your job :P

Martix avatar

How about group orders for individuals from another EU country? This can save postage and make whole RP distribution easier. Please, ask me in e-mail for details.

psergiu avatar

It has been detailed on the forums – the 1st batch will be limited to one per person, only on the 2nd or 3rd batches you will be able to place a larger order to reduce shipping costs.

Richard Wooding avatar

Sorry you couldn’t manufacture in UK as you wished, but if it makes it available for us in South Africa then it’s ok, by the way we have similar stupidly punitive tax laws in SA which hold our tech industry back.

Lynbarn avatar

But that is LUDICROUS! No wonder nobody makes anything in this country any more! Still, things are moving the Far East, so now it’s only a matter of time. Well done to all of you at the Foundation. Nearly time to open my money box!

Here’s to bringing manufacturing home sometime soon!

rm avatar

CHINESE NEW YEAR is on January 23 this year.
Things come to a complete standstill in China for 2 weeks around that date, regarding manufacture and trade.
Do you account for that in the “end of January” prediction?

liz avatar

Yes, we do. I really love the way you guys seem to think we’re complete noobs at this.

Ben avatar

I expect many of your potential first batch customers were also potential OpenPandora customers, hence the paranoia and expectation of numerous problems and 2+ year delays (Just 2 more months).

Very glad to hear you have everything under control.

barosl avatar

I also remember the delays. We all expected Pandora would be shipped “until this Christmas”, hoping to get the device as a Christmas gift. But after two years… lol.

Daniel avatar

Off topic but Do love Hideyoshi

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

Your Hideyoshi avatar is great, he’s such a she

AllenS avatar

I really hope that the overseas manufacturing of the Raspberry Pi’s have excellent quality. Many companies struggle from China’s quality and “cutbacks”. Yet I’m excited and cant wait!

JamesH avatar

China will make anything you want at any quality you want. Depends on how much you want to pay. Most people don’t want to pay for quality.

AllenS avatar

Ahh, that’s partly why most companies go off shore. Will these systems have decent quality? Not trying to offend you but the theory of supply and demand really come at this kind of production, lol.

DaVince avatar

See Liz’s reply that was made higher up on the page. Build quality is great, apparently. :)

Robert avatar

hate to hear about the more cost to make local, but there is no shame in outsourcing either. Especially as a charity. Do what you have to do to support your cause. I will buy them no matter where you make them….. as long as its not a SOPA supporting american company lol.

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

Part of their “cause” was stimulating British IT industries. That gets partially lost with outsourcing. Their core goal (education) is unaffected, however.

Richard avatar

Finally! Looking forward to this.

I understand and applaud the desire to support your local industry, but there’s no shame in outsourcing it overseas. Different companies have different advantages in what they are able to produce. And the tax setup in the UK obviously doesn’t favor domestic manufacturing. I definitely think that these extra taxes don’t help anybody.

I’m looking forward to playing around with my Raspberry Pi when it gets here because I can think of a lot of neat ideas such a small, full-featured device can help me get going with.

Nick Scott avatar

Its a shame about not being able to use local manufacture (and I’m not even from the UK, but there really is something about supporting the local economy), but good to hear that they are coming. And lots of people are mentioning about not being able to buy one from the first batch, I for one am not too stressed about not being in that batch, let some others get in, and iron out the software a bit first (but I will still try and get in that first lot none the less).

art san avatar

Thanks for the great news, Liz.
Did you hear the massive sigh of relief crossing the Atlantic. CAN’T WAIT !!!!!

Sorry about the bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do best. Thank goodness the team had a work around.
Best to all involved, and thanks again.

Bikko avatar

Does seem that UK shoots their selfs in the foot in manufacturering.

But If Raspberry Pi does take off and get people into programing it should be a long term boost for game industry

Samuel Chow avatar

Long time lurker, but great news about manufacture! As with everyone else, its a shame the UK is not as friendly with the importing taxes. But +1 for such transparency ~

Lynbarn avatar

I hope this is opkay, but I’ve taken the liberty – as a concerned citizen – of submitting an ePetition on the govermnent website, based on your comments in the post. I said:

“A British-based company importing electronic components has to pay duty on those components (most are made abroad). If, however, a device is made abroad from those same components, then imported into the UK, it does not attract import duty.

A company manufacturing abroad, and depriving the UK economy of employment opportunities, effectively gets a tax break over those supporting the UK economy.

This makes it very tax inefficient for any electronics company to manufacture in Britain, and is a contributing factor in the loss of so many manufacturing jobs to overseas economies.

HM Government is hereby petitioned to adjust the import duty rules to remove this disparity and to encourage the return of electronics manufacture and assembly jobs to Britain.”

They say this might take up to seven days before it is approved and added to the ePetitions website. I’ll let you know what happens. Hopefully, once it is approved, everyone here and on the forum will sign up. Good luck!

JohnoFon avatar

+1 for actually getting on and doing it, rather than just telling RasPi that they ought to.

pauldow avatar

The problem that I see is that you need to think like a government bureaucrat. I know it hurts, but try.
Their response won’t be to remove taxes on imported electronic components. They’ll just add taxes on finished products to eliminate the “unfair advantage”.

Arwyn avatar

Yes and no. As much as we like to deride them, bureaucrats are not stupid. They know that raising the cost of imported electronic goods too much will not be good for the economy, nor will it be likely to pass the elected government.
What is more likely to happen is a mixed approach, with a small duty being added to completed products and manufacturers being allowed to deduct component duties up to an amount based on the duties they would pay for importing the completed product.
The exact numbers would be chosen to offset the loss of revenue from the component duty with the new revenue from the competed goods revenue.
There are other complications to consider, including legal ones, such as EU compliance, and lobbying from those that profit from the current laws. When it comes to modifying the tax code, nothing is simple and everything takes time.

TJ avatar
RaTTuS avatar

Sinded and facedbooked

Burngate avatar


sputnick avatar

->You must be a British citizen or normally live in the UK to create or sign e-petitions.

Well I for one would like R-Pi to be made in Europe at least but have no say in the matter it seems or the rest of us non-UK R-Pi fans.

dan avatar

So there’s no tax exemption for registered uk charities for this kind of thing?

Oh and very excited by the way…

Jessie avatar

Its is sad that taxes have priced you out of your own country. It is the same in many other contries, the UK isn’t alone. Anyway, glad to hear that the ball is rolling. I wish the turn-around was quicker (so I could have one in my hands sooner), but you can only do what you can do.

Kris Chaplin avatar

So looking forward to trying to get my hands on a board. I’m worried about 10k devices not being enough, but hey, It’s not my farm that’s being bet on this, so my deepest respect to all involved! I hope panic buying or strategic hoarding is protected against, at least in the early hours of sales.

Will we get an email alert prior to the launch, so that everyone has the same knowledge of the sell date/time?

pvgb avatar

Good to hear that you have moved to manufacture.
As you say it is sad that local manufacturers cannot compete on price, and interesting to hear why. I wonder how many jobs and how much tax revenue is lost in this way.

Have not seen a database connection error all evening, so things are definitely looking up.

Bart avatar


Stupid tax laws….. This way Raspberry Pi raises a lot of awareness in many different ways, which is a good thing :-)

[…] Szimpatikus.hu Közösség, a “We’ve started manufacture! | Raspberry Pi” című bejegyzésre szeretném felhívni a figyelmeteket. Várom a hozzászólásokat, […]

Alien/ST-CNX avatar

That’s rather disappointing. Having just listened to


I was very much hoping you’d be making things in the UK, to avoid the companies that exploit their workers. I’d happily pay a few more quid to ensure the people building what I buy have a better life. (I’d also happily wait a little longer).

While I understand your reasons, I really hope you manage to move production to the UK or the EU ASAP. I’d also happily sign a petition to have the ridiculous tax situation fixed should you set one up.

Davespice avatar
nehnie avatar


Cameron avatar

Where abouts will we be able to buy them from? I’m ready to sign up and attempt to order one of the first batch when they are ready! :-)

zete avatar

good news :)

Could you hide the comments beneath the FAQ by default? Gets even my Workstation moaning.

shaiton avatar

Great thanks, awesome!!
Looking forward to get a board at work and at home!
Thanks for all those news

Anthony avatar

I’m really disappointed about the relocation of manufacture; my heart sank a little when I read the announcement. And although I definitely believe your intention of manufacturing in the U.K. was 100% sincere and I empathise with you on what must have been an horrid decision to make: I’d like to know how you arrived at a price-point of $35 without taking into account import duty and the cost of manufacturing in Britain?


Gert avatar

The whole project started with a price of $25 as that was seen as the target audience threshold. Then everything was done to try to meet that price. In the course of the last few months we have had several setbacks like:
We could not get the design done on a four layer board.
We could not use switch mode supplies and had to fall back for LDO’s to meet the price.
The VAT & production is just one of the many obstacles which had to be taken.
have had several disaaopimnts l

slacer avatar

I think this was a bad surprise and someone should talk to the person who approved the businessplan behind this project. But it is a great project and I want to thank everyone for the big vision and for taking all the risks, time and hurdles.

Can’t wait to see Raspberry Pi batches at websites from German schools. :-)

meltwater avatar

I imagine the plan had a list of ordered items which to be able to make the price point (which is key and top of the list) many had to be dropped.
By going through the import route, less money will be spent on tax and more on reproducing units.
The situation is crazy since it really does happen all the time, it’s a wonder this great nation makes anything any more.

shaurz avatar

Do other countries in Europe have the same tax situation, i.e. is this an EU-wide problem or specific to the UK?

RaTTuS avatar

it is EU wide

CrazyEoin avatar

This is great news! Can’t wait to get one! :-)

[…] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } http://www.raspberrypi.org (via @martindor) – Today, 10:16 […]

Robert Parkin avatar

Import duty for imports are harmonised and set by the EU and not locally, all EC countries have the same commodity codes, duty rates and procedures as the UK. Changes cannot be made without everyone’s agreement. It does seem though that the EU is making things difficult for manufacturers.

However, I am sure getting Raspberry Pi’s into the hands of youngsters is a good thing, one of my nephews wants his now.

[…] made in the UK as planned but in the Far East due to stupid import duty on components, ah well – We’ve started manufacture! | Raspberry Pi Reply With Quote vBulletin.events.SkimlinksActivate.subscribe(function() { […]

Luke avatar

Congratulations! I’m not holding by breath for a first batch order especially in the US, but it’s extremely exciting none the less. Can’t wait for more information about hardware/software specifics to come out, I know it’d keep me busy.

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

It’s sad to read the pis will have to be baked outside of the EU; it’ll be more of our hard-earned money that flies to Asia and never comes back. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was making such a strong point by stating you are supporting the IT industry by not only bringing new talent, but also new jobs to the UK. I sincerely hope you’re able to produce the Raspi in Britain or even the EU in the near future. Macro-economics is pulling the world apart

zete avatar

at least more employment in asia and i’d say they need it more badly than jobless persons here

Ken Pemberton avatar

Woohoo go team! Recent unexpected events (i.e. redundancy) means I’ll probably have to mug a teenager for the cash, but now getting really excited.

Pity the regulations are so silly about component import, how naff is that?

I am a little concerned, though, that I might miss the opportunity to order if I don’t move fast enough. Will there be initial quantity limitations to help protect the hobbyist?

Bill C avatar

Wooo!!! *Snoopy Dance!!!*

Can’t wait… Oh drat! I have to save my beer money now!! ^_~ lol

manuel avatar

Will you sell the first 10k at the shop from http://www.raspberrypi.com?
So will it be successful when i sniff the shop every 5 min (or less ;)) with an script on my server which alerts me when anything changes? :D

Matthew Sherborne avatar

Thanks for going into the reasons Liz. I don’t think there’s any shame in going overseas for manufacturing. In my paper bag business, all the clients say, I want New Zealand made, hand made, recycled paper; then when they look at the cost difference, they usually go with Chinese plastic.

Also what you’re doing is having a global impact. You’re part of a global community. It’s good to share the work around. Hopefully you’ll get a lot of support back from the global community as well as you benefacting us.

Martin v. Böhlen avatar

Have you tried the continent?

Graham avatar

hello world

[…] by the latest news post on RaspberryPi.org, it looks as if the first batch of 10,000 Model B’s is now in production in Asia.  The […]

Matt avatar

So much for the vapourware comments… Well done! I’m looking forward to getting a few of these.

Paul Hardy avatar

Good decision on the production, and a bit more ammo to help get our electronics industry back on track.

[…] Raspberry Pi 如今开始正式生产。根据官方博客,最开始生产的将是 B 版,一月底可以出货。B 版与 A 版 Raspberry Pi […]

kme avatar

A bit disappointed too about the outsourcing, but no big surprise really. But keep the A model outsources too then. No reason to complicate your own lives further. Keep rational.

We’ll have to pull the money back from Asia otherwise: UK/DE is selling Rolls-Royces as hot cakes in China and here in Denmark we are shoveling in money on pig ears and tails at good prices in China. Few years ago they would only go as dog snacks…

Paul avatar

Another reason for geeks to start hacking politics in addition to hardware. There is absolutely no reason for these tariffs except for some corrupt politician’s campaign chest.

tzj avatar

possable example, hs2.

[…] From the Raspberry Pi website: […]

Jonn Tarbox avatar

How about offering a UK manufactured version as an option with a price differential? That way people could opt in to supporting UK manufacturer by simply paying a few pounds extra.

Dazzler avatar

I’d support that – especially if you could use the one that could do a few hundred units a month. Be nice to have ‘Made in Great Britain’ on it. Or even a special edition board.

However totally understand where you’re at and the importance of the price goal. Best of luck for the manufacture phase.

Erfan avatar

I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those Pi’s :) they would make excellent and cheap thin clients, and for that price we can use them for everything.

cowfodder avatar

Congrats on the manufacturing!

It does suck that the tax laws are so backwards though. We encounter similar issues across the pond here. Here’s hoping that your communication with the government nets some kind of change, not only for the foundation but overall.

tiramisu avatar

Congratulations and hopefully a sold out first batch.

Keep up the good work.

Piman Pipi avatar

Yes, you need something large to attach leads to these small chip packages so you can work with them with your hands. Low density is a feature, not a bug. It is for hobbyists and prototypes. I must be easily amused because I think it is the coolest thing.

Marc O. Chouinard avatar

I’m wondering about the shipping cost. I’m in Canada… And it would be disappointing to pay 20$ shipping on a 35$ board… I’ll buy one for sure to help (if any are available), but I wonder if even shipping directly to customer from china might be cheaper internationally (thu slower) or any other solutions or deal with a shipping business ? Unless this project is mostly directed to UK residents.

Michael avatar

An answer can be found here:

J.S.Clarke avatar

I wonder about the energy situation, maybe there are less co2 emissions from assembling the Pi’s where the components are manufactured and shipping the completed boards than assembly here. (Absolutely no research) Also it’s not just the tax, how many of us could work for anywhere near $2 ( or $5, or $15) a day!

[…] Raspberry Pi manufacturing update. Looks like there should be some in early 2012 – It doesn’t appear possible to make them anywhere but China and to meet their $25 price point… … Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things, and it’s an issue we’ve taken up with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Filed under: random — by adafruit, posted January 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm Comments (0) […]

ACX avatar

Apart from congratulating you guys for getting great project, etc, I would also like to say thank you for actually explaining how British manufacturers pay more tax. People just tend to say it and never explain it, so it sounds like an excuse to manufacture abroad to essentially make more profit out of the cheap labour. For once some body, you, explained precisely why. And it makes sense.

And that I appreciate.


Graham Healy avatar

I vow not to fall asleep until I’ve ordered one.

Ed Briley avatar

Well as far is having to deal with the manufacturer taxes, at least the Government in the UK will not go in and shut them down. Ask Gibson Guitar Company what the Federal Government did to them in the US, just because they were trying to put together guitars in the US? See they can buy the finished product and import it, but they can not import the wood to build them. And you think the UK has problems.

juanRIOT avatar

This is one of the best news I’ve gotten for 2012!

Because of this, 2012 will be awesome for me and the rest of humanity!
(me laughing at the Mayans for being such a party pooper just when this place was rockin)

Congratulations to the Raspberry Pi. You guys are super.

SergeiF avatar

Put me down for 10!

[…] Raspberry Pi 如今开始正式生产。根据官方博客,最开始生产的将是 B 版,一月底可以出货。B 版与 A 版 Raspberry Pi […]

theweirdn8 avatar

I know this may not be possible to provide, but what is the name of the manufacturing company you all have made this glorious agreement with? The reason why I am asking is because, I would love to get them to help design cases and possibly even screens for a little small portable device I would like to make via the raspberry Pi.

Also on another note, can I interview any of you guys for an independent gamer’s magazine I write for?

I am so pumped and psyched for this project you all got going there. Also, will there be documentation coming soon for all the uses that are allowed of raspberry Pi?

Matthew Jaques avatar

I cant wait for these to hit the *shelves*. Im in Australia and have been following this since i first heard about it approx 6 months back. I have two questions about buying the Pi.
1. Are they going to be available from your Store where the stickers are, or some other means?
2. Is there any way to pre-order? I have read somewhere in another post that you don’t want to accept the money now because you don’t need it etc.. But is there a pre-reserve or anything? I don’t want to miss out on the drop if i am away for a few days and come back to find them all gone.
Many Thanks

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

1. Yes, Raspberry Pi will be sold by the Foundation from raspberrypi.com (the same place as the stickers are sold)

2. You cannot place an order (or a pre-order) until the devices are in stock and sold to everyone. If you don’t want to miss out on the initial sales, there’s an e-mail listing on the front page which will send out an e-mail when the raspi is put on sale

Jack avatar

So when can we pre-order? There’s got to be a way to pre-order!
Y’all are such a tease! ;’)
Probably all be sold out before I get the news anyway.

Keith Poole avatar


This is great news and I’m glad to hear (the manufacturing started point), not so great about needing to do this outside of the UK.

As things progress for both the Raspberry Pi foundation and my company, I would be very interested in doing local (Australian) distribution of your products.

Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss this more, and either way keep up the great work!

Yours faithfully,
Keith Poole
Agilis IT Australia Pty Ltd
+61403 715 883

Ian3 avatar

It is a shame that you are unable to get the boards manufactured here in the UK when this is precisely what the ecomony needs right now. Still, it is great news that manufacture is underway and soon your many eager followers will get their hands on their own piece of Pi.

Anthony Starks avatar

Great news. It occurred to me that there will be a cottage industry of Raspberry Pi enclosures!

electrodacus avatar

Great news.
I’m glad it will be the model B that will first be available since that is the one I want.
So it will be probably be on sale in February?.

Cristian avatar

While I applaud your commitment to boost the UK industry, I think you should remember the true goals of this project. For a poor kid, those couple of dollars in price increase because the boards were built in the UK might make the difference between being able to afford one and not being able to afford one. If it is cheaper to built the boards in Asia you should do that without regret, the difference in price will probably please everyone.

[…] the Raspberry Pi foundation, who are creating a $25 computer to bootstrap computing education, has flipped the switch on manufacturing. They had wanted to build the board in the UK but it turns out to be […]

Canti Sama avatar

I just wanted to say that I am really excited about this. I started following the PI a few months ago and was really impressed with the demo/preview video. The whole concept and ecosystem you have built the PI around is worth mentioning in it’s self. It’s rare to see anyone, especially those in the electronics sector put so much effort into making their product not only successful, but also beneficial to the world you are bringing it into. You are a bunch of really cool people and can’t wait to see what everyone does with their PI’s!

-Canti Sama

[…] фондом, запущен в массовое производство. Об этом было объявлено в официальном блоге разработчиков Raspberry Pi. 10 января […]

David avatar

Just look at what you’ve started :)

School ICT to be replaced by computer science programme

alxkls avatar

ive been waiting for this moment for quite a while now…

[…] coming! Raspberry Pi has now officially started manufacture of the first production boards. See http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509 for […]

Florian avatar

Do you plan to reduce the number of parts sold per person to offer a chance for each fan to get one ? and to avoid some guys to buy 50 or 100 and resell them on ebay…

JamesH avatar

As has been stated many many times here and in t he forums, there will be a limit to how many an individual can buy from the first batch, probably 1.

lworbey avatar

This has been asked so many times and yet it is still not in the FAQs…

JamesH avatar

Correct. That’s because it is a REALLY Frequently asked question, and we don’t have an RFAQ section.

Armen avatar

James are you affiliated with the guys in any ways? Member of the group or a volunteer? [just curious, actually I want to know the policy of selling only 1 is a Raspi decision or your opinion]

And though I understand the concept behind max 1 per order/individual (I guess so everyone who’s excited will get to play with one). If you sell as much as there is the demand for it with no limitations it might be better in (a little bit) longer run for all of us Pi enthusiasts. It will keep the business going and will help keep the costs down (mass production is logical to assume to be cheaper) and hopefully keep the same price for next gens with more features (512MB ram for example). Of course this will work only if they’re sure that the factory can pump out the boards in higher numbers if the demand grows beyong the initial 10k [which factories in far east can do it pretty well apparently!]

Another point to have in mind is the shipment. Remember that there are buyers in different countries and it will be more economical to ship let’s say 4 Pies :] in one international shipment.

RaTTuS avatar

the limits wil just be for the 1st run – no limits after they have everything running smothly

JamesH avatar

I don’t know about Affiliated, but I am an Admin on the website and work with(ish) Eben at Broadcom on the Videocore products.

Armen avatar

:)))) liked the capital Affiliated :D …. ok …. so if you know Eben in person then you’re quite in inner circle of the project then :) and what you write can be considered Official :) then … [joking of course about *official*]

John Rowlands avatar

In the UK news today – they know what they have to do … !

The current programme of information and communications technology (ICT) study in England’s schools will be scrapped from September, the education secretary will announce later.

The subject will be replaced by compulsory lessons in more rigorous computer science and programming.

[…] Raspberry Pi production update. Looks like there should be some in early 2012 – It doesn’t seem probable to make them anywhere though China and to accommodate their $25 cost point… … Simply put, if we build a Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to compensate a lot some-more tax. If a British association imports components, it has to compensate taxation on those (and many components are not done in a UK). If, however, a finished device is done abroad and alien into a UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import avocation during all. This means that it’s really, unequivocally taxation emasculate for an wiring association to do a production in Britain, and it’s one of a reasons that so most of a production goes overseas. Right now, a approach things mount means that a association doing a production abroad, depriving a UK economy, gets a taxation break. It’s an positively insane approach for a Inland Revenue to be using things, and it’s an emanate we’ve taken adult with a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Digi-Key Continuing Education Center Making Science Fun With High-Tech Popsicle Sticks And Pipe Cleaners → […]

John Light avatar

that’s insane (the tax bit), if anything happens re this (any type of e-petition etc, ), post it up, as it needs sorting. Such a crushing shame the Pi can’t be made in the UK, but either way, really looking forward to getting one.

Twisted Lucidity avatar

Don’t wait for an e-petition (which are fairly meaningless IMHO and routinely ignored). Contact your MP. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

Lynbarn avatar

An ePetition is up, see
which, if it takes off in any way will at least get some publicity, but yes – write to MPs as well – “every little helps”, as they say!

[…] di sempre: Raspberry Pi non solo ha terminato il proprio ciclo di development, ma finalmente è stato dato il via all’operazione di […]

[…] di sempre: Raspberry Pi non solo ha terminato il proprio ciclo di development, ma finalmente è stato dato il via all’operazione di […]

[…] фондом, запущен в массовое производство. Об этом было объявлено в официальном блоге разработчиков Raspberry Pi. 10 января […]

Twisted Lucidity avatar

Congrats. Really annoying to hear about the tax issues and I totally understand why you made the choice you did, time to lobby the local MP I guess. They work for us, at least in theory.

jimfowler82 avatar

Massive shame about the UK manufacturing but totally the right choice, I’m really hoping things will change in the UK because its such a shame, look at china’s economy its what the 2nd biggest in the world now? I know they don’t have great human rights but that’s another topic, I believe we could learn allot from China.

Lets hope in the future it becomes viable to manufacturer in the UK.

Cant wait to get my PI :)

Nick McCallum avatar

News on the BBC today might mean you guys should become pretty important pretty quick:

:D. Guess you are all at BETT today but if you get a chance to read this and I realise you are not idiots but please for the love of all things electronic, limit the first batch to one per customer. If you don’t i’m pretty sure most people will buy 2 and a lot of people will buy 10+ and they’ll go within minutes to a lot less than 10k people.

JamesH avatar

Already doing that.

tom avatar

You know when you where looking at UK companies to manufacture the product did you look at UK companies who have manufacturing facilities in china this would still in a way be helping the UK electronics companies but also would keep the unit price down. If you need any contact for electronics companies in the UK with manufacturing faculties on foreign shores please contact me happy to help where I can. The cheaper you can make it the more people who will benefit.

JamesH avatar

Yes, total rip off. Charge much too much per board.

Bizzo avatar

Fantastic news. Looking forward to getting mine.
It’s a shame it can’t be built in the UK, but then again, what is?
It’ll be strange to think that my new little RPi has travelled further than I have! :-)
After all, it’s a small world.

Hope everything goes to plan for you guys.

Andy avatar


Graham avatar

I also buy items from these markets on grounds of pragmatism so I can not carp on that score. But please don’t say that it is responsible to buy from markets that are cheaper because the don’t meet our legal standards of employees rights. Let them who disagree give up their paid holidays, pensions and other sweatshop unfriendly working conditions.

Peter J Francis avatar

Concerned about manufacturing being forced offshore by UK tax laws , sign the e-petition

Burngate avatar

84 sigs & counting …

BlueClogger avatar

Can one of the moderators get Liz to put this link on the front of the blog?

ian francis avatar

Am I the only one wondering how the purchasing/ordering will work in practice. Onve the esho pis up and running will I have to drop everything to get to a pc sharpish? Will I be able to pre-order and pay and just wait for the next production run (happy to do). or will it just go ‘out of stock’ and I will have to keep checking back. some kind of queue or prioritising would make a real difference. I’m happy to give the charity my hard earned cash and wait for my raspi to come off the production line. that would be such a better experience rather than pot luck checking the site all the time

ian francis avatar

“Onve the esho pis up” should read “once the shop is up”. darn keyboard gremlins

Robert_M avatar

:::enters yay zone:::

— YAY! —

Reg Dawkins avatar

Shame on the high-minded Pi project as it falls for the Capitalist trap of going where the workers will be paid a pitance. Long term you’ll be contributing to lower wages for our local companies. I won’t be buying one until I know that a fair local wage is being given to the employees of the manufacturing plant.

JamesH avatar

Fair enough. Although since you don’t know which plant is being used, you cannot say they are being paid a pittance. Perhaps you should also approach the UK companies who charge such a huge amount (I mean, a LOT more – real rip off prices) and the government who’s tax regimes makes UK manufacture even more expensive.

mgb avatar

Ok – will the UK factories also have to use UK sourced components? Made in UK fabs with UK silicon and powered by UK mined coal?

[…] Via | Raspberry PI […]

Paweł avatar

Great to hear! I’ve got my birthday on 7 feb, and hope to get my R-Pi present! :-)

[…] Raspberry Pi inició la fabricación de su computadora de 25 dólares, según anunciaron en su blog . Esto significa que las primeras unidades llegarán a estar listas para finales de enero. El primer […]

mlass avatar

I always wondered how Hong Kong and China produce stuff so cheap. I’m sure Taxes is one of the main reason the US imports products.

[…] | Raspberry PI (1 Voti | Media: 5 su 5) 0 […]

[…] Raspberry Pi inició la fabricación de su computadora de 25 dólares, según anunciaron en su blog . Esto significa que las primeras unidades llegarán a estar listas para finales de enero. El primer […]

Steve Dalton avatar

Very exciting news and I will write to my MP about the stupid tax thing. I have signed up to the mailing list. Do I need to do more in order to be on the mailing list to buy one? Thanks

JamesH avatar

Being on the mailing list give no preferential treatment on buying, except you might get a few seconds more warning when they go on sale!

Sam avatar

Great that you’ve raised the issue but I imagine that even if anyone does take notice, the result will likely be to put more tax on assembled goods imported into the country than give a tax cut for importing components.

Maybe i’m just a pessimist

[…] Shame the Raspberry PI is not being made in the UK. from http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509 If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are […]

russ wall avatar

I have a feeling the pi is going to become more than just a computer. This inept tax regime, and its repercusions, really does highlight one of so many issues affecting us all here in the UK. The state of education (both IT and in general), the state of our manufacturing industry, the arcane tax system, the role of charities/governmental organisations, the role of the media (hello Daily Mail ect) …. the list goes on and on. If the pi has done nothing else it has started a dialogue on many of these topics. You should have been in the pub last night, and when they find out about this latest “bombshell” well, I for one can’t wait!

Stephen avatar

I have written to my MP about this.

Chris avatar

Have to say that I don’t think you’ll have a problem selling them all!

At the price you’re selling them at (model B even) I’d quite happily buy 10, 20 or even 30 for my local school so they can use them as they see fit.

[…] Pi have started manufacture Raspberry Pi are now being made according to a statement at: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509 Forum Administrator Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « […]

H avatar

Great news!

[…] put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax,” said Upton on the charity’s web site. ”If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components […]

[…] news today from Raspberry Pi is that the boards have now gone into production and will be available very shortly. Surely this is […]

RMW5 avatar

The tax cost is a bore, but if schools are sufficiently enlightened they would be willing to pay $23 + $7 in tax rather than $25 tax free because the $7 is going to the government from whence all their money comes.

OK they would be a few pounds better off in the short term taking the cheaper option, but that is to lose sight of the fact that they are probably saving many times that by buying the R-Pi rather than any alternative.

As it is they will find that after training up kids to be embedded Linux software engineers, there will be no UK IT industry, although with a little retraining there may be a career for numerate graduates in HMRC collecting import duties.

JamesH avatar

We will have to see how things pan out – the first few batches needs to be sold at the $25/$35 price points – otherwise the Foundation will get a LOT of bad press. Following some unexpected issues with UK production, on top of this tax issue, and that price point suddenly became unobtainable without going to the Far East for manufacture. Hopefully, once companies in the UK realise what the project is all about, they will start to accept that their prices and lead times are, to put it bluntly, completely mad.

Armen avatar

The price points ARE VERY IMPORTANT, please don’t touch the numbers!!!!! It’s not only about the bad press, it’s one of the main reasons of the Pi attracting such attention from all over the world. It’s such a sweet point that shouldn’t be changed a bit. One of the stated goals (ok, maybe not *that* stated but implicitly stated :] ) of the project is that “you could literally hand out these things to kids”

phillip avatar

schools do not pay vat tax.

Peter Quinn avatar

So sad that tax laws, whatever jurisdiction, effectively disables part of our manufacturing. Anyway – good news about upcoming release of our Pi’s

[…] molto ridotti (è grande come una carta di credito e costa dai 25 ai 35 Euro). Attraverso un'annuncio nel proprio blog è finalmente cominciata la produzione di Raspberry Pi la quale speriamo porti al più presto il […]

riFFraFF avatar

Hmmm!!! Wonderful!!! So much outrage and folks are writing their MP. Sorry, have no dog in the fight being in the States, but it would be encouraging to see the component import problem resolved across the board. It it were, it should hopefully encourage an overall increase in factory production capacity. Would very much like to see that, and a little homegrown support, esp. for any future entrepreneurs raised up from this program. Would hate to see the program be a smashing success only to find droves of young folk standing on street corners holding cardboard signs reading “WILL PROGRAM FOR FOOD”. :-D

Mike Plowman avatar

Quick question – will these first 10,000 units be bare boards or will they be in cases as complete end user machines?

Armen avatar

Pretty good question. I’m an enthusiast like you (so I’m not in the know-how in anyways) but from the beginning they said it would be a bare board. But it would be a nice addition (also practical thing for the users) if they could provide a bare bone simple plastic casing with it. Of course they can later add more fancy, limited edition, special edition cases for sale. But of course even a simple plastic case will add a lot to manufacturing costs [specially the first batch] … so let’s say this way “I (and probably many like me) would be MUCH MORE EXCITED if it comes with a simple plastic case, even if not assembled in it, [a little bit more towards rugged] a simple inexpensive plastic case that just protects the inner parts from damage (so it would be suitable for all ages and conditions)” … but of course designing, manufacturing a case is a project in itself and adds to the initial fund needed … but hopefully guys will sell the pies :] fast enough to come up with the funds necessary

JamesH avatar

They are pretty robust even bare – I was carrying an alpha around in a rucksack with no protection, works fine!

Armen avatar


[…] news today from Raspberry Pi is that the boards have now gone into production and will be available very shortly. Surely this is […]

John avatar

How do I pre-pay 10 Model B units? In our firm’s case, we are interested in becoming a reseller. How does one sign up?

JamesH avatar

No pre-orders I am afraid, and first batch limited to 1 per person. And also, at this stage, no resellers, although once production ramps up you will be able to buy in larger quantities to resell – saving on postage costs. No quantity discounts – its selling close to cost already.

mkopack avatar

Great to hear!

Sucks about not being able to produce them in the UK. Wish I could say US taxation rules were better, but they’re not. And politicians wonder why jobs are shipped overseas like mad! The whole idea of taxing businesses in general is stupid because they just pass along any taxes they pay to the consumers through higher prices… Better to just put sales taxes on consumers and have no taxes on businesses so they have a reason to produce domestically, and thus, hire people, who will then go and buy more stuff…

Anyhow keep working on the gov, and in the mean time, do what you have to do to get the product in people’s hands and get an infrastructure of public support built up so it’s a thriving community by the times the kids get their hands on them.

Dmytro Yurchenko avatar

What a wonderful news! Keep on the good work mates I would sign the above-mentioned petition if I were a British resident.

Van Deursen avatar

Nice to see so far, their will be for sure a market! I know already a lot of people who wants to play with it, including myself!
The next toy comparable with Arduino just better and like a normal computer!

Ane Bkaj avatar

Well, this is quite interesting …
British government has raised serious barriers (such as taxes) for manufacturing industry.
But, they will fight fight (to the last drop of blood of taxpayers) against the tax for the financial industry.
However – congratulations for the launch of production!

Chris avatar

This is really exciting! Thanks for keeping us up to date on all of this! Can’t wait to order and get one delivered.
Congrats/thanks to all!

Chris Long avatar

Given that the first batch of boards is limited in quantity, is any consideration being given to making purchases one per customer until supplies are freely available, to ensure the Pi-goodness is spread as widely as possible?

JamesH avatar

YES. This has been answered about 50 times in the last two weeks. I’ve even put it in the FAQ.

Mark Potts avatar

have to do to get this wonderful machine to the masses. My son will be starting secondary school in sept and I for one, given the latest planned changes to the curriculum, am looking forward to giving him a head start in ICT. If there was a “Buy A Raspberry PI” Tshirt I would wear it with pride!

Paul_ArtCAM avatar

Get 38Degrees involved re-manfucturing in the UK – they have one million UK members who forced the Government to U-turn on selling off the forests.


Pottsey avatar

My son starts secondary school in September. I welcome the changes to ICT and know he will have a head start after using a Raspberry all summer. It is a fabulous machine and I applaude those who have made it happen. Manufacturing inconveniances? unfortunate, but its a means to a greater end. Grumblings about the outsourcing should be cast aside with the knowledge that a lot of minds, young and not so young, will benefit greatly from this wonderfully accessable computer.

Armen avatar

“Grumblings about the outsourcing should be cast aside with the knowledge that a lot of minds, young and not so young, will benefit greatly from this wonderfully accessable computer.”


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Graith avatar

Any bets how long they’ll take to sell all 10,000 of the first run?

ejamie avatar

I suspect less than 24 hours. Less than 48 hours if the e-commerce shop cannot keep up with initial demand.

Think: there are 7300 members signed up on the raspberrypi.org forums. These are just users who care enough to create an account. Vast majority of these are buyers certainly. Not to mention additional lurkers who have not created an account, and users who will first hear about this project via marketing when the order form goes live (e.g. slashdot news stories, etc).

Now, factor in the price. Why buy one, when you can buy two or three all for under $100 (pounds, whatever). Finally, due to international shipping times, buyers may want to buy a few so they don’t incur additional shipping delays on subsequent orders.

Of course, the initial batch may have some “buy 2 donate 1” requirement that would subdue initial demand. If so, then it might take < 96 hours to sell out first batch.

Montekuri avatar

The initial batch will a have a limitation of “one unit to one person”.

Montekuri avatar

The initial batch will have a limitation of “one unit to one person”.

TonyHoyle avatar

I think that’s optimistic.. a week maybe. It’s a stretch to assume everyone who’s registered will buy one on the first day.

10,000 in a week is still pretty unprecedented for a device produced by a charity on a tight budget, and would be newsworthy in itself.

OregonJim avatar

Sounds a lot like what is happening here in the U.S.A. Liz. A lot of manufacturing is now off shore for the very same reason. MOSTLY in China.

[…] a scopi didattici, che sarà in vendita tra qualche settimana. Per saperne di più, finisco sul blog dei creatori di questa piccola grande idea e trovo un racconto che mi lascia senza parole. Non si […]

pishboy avatar

Any ideas when you would have distributors? I mean, it’s cheaper for me on shipping if i have something, say, from singapore instead of from the UK.
And i don’t know if this was mentioned before but i think the shop should have another mode of payment because some people, like me, have no Visa or Mastercard enabled credit or debit cards.
It’s good that the raspberry pi has moved alot ever since the idea sprung
still waiting for the not-so-hot-on-everyone’s-eyes batches so i can finally get myself several boards

liz avatar

We’ll be offering credit card payments and offline payments too.

igu avatar

Will paypal be acceptable?

[…] the line before starting sales, and about what date we’ll be starting on, will come later; – via raspberrypi.org For those not familiar with Raspberry Pi, the “$25 computer”, this is a credit-card […]

Ken avatar

I hate to say this, but it seems as though the uk has the same problems with the taxes and manufacturing as we do here in the states…

mauii avatar

Quote: Bob H
on January 11, 2012 at 9:42 am said:
Would it not be possible to make them in Europe to at least reduce the carbon footprint? Hungary & Poland have some pretty

Ranger 9 avatar

So, you live in Britain, you presumably benefit from services paid for by British taxes, but when it comes time to make something, you go for the low-labor-cost option and then blame it on British tax policy?

Oh, well, the flip side of that is that now that you’re manufacturing in China, within a matter of weeks there will be knockoffs of your product on eBay and we’ll be able to bypass the middleman (you) entirely…

JamesH avatar

I debated whether to let this comment through, but then thought why not, some people may not have the fact yet (thoguh inadequate reading of the original post), so why not use this to get some of them across. The blame is not entirely down to British tax policy, but it was the straw that broke the camels back. The *very* high cost of manufacture at any British sites, along with the lead time that was at least triple that of the Far East manufacture also had their parts to play. There are also other reasons.

I seriously doubt knock offs will appear on Ebay, due to the difficulty in getting hold of the SoC, and the fact they won’t be much cheaper than the official product. And since when did the designer and originator of a product suddenly become the middleman?

I think it’s time to return under your bridge Trollboy.

liz avatar

When we have finished restructuring computer education, I’m going to have a look at what we can do for the UK’s parlous state of reading comprehension. Thanks, Jamesh, and thank you for your patience in answering this chap – you are a more generous letter-through-of-comments than this website deserves!

[…] foundation discussed its manufacturing plans in a statement published on its official blog. The organization had originally hoped to have all of the […]

BigB avatar

I am waiting to enjoy Raspberry Pi (model B) with my Ice Cream Sandwich (soon to be released for my version of tablet)…….I just might geek out so much, that the internet explodes and gives birth to a neo-net!

JamesH avatar

ICS is unlikely to work very well on the Raspi due to memory and CPU constraints.

[…] We’ve started manufacture! | Raspberry Pi Posted by pkyriak on January 11, 2012 We’ve started manufacture! | Raspberry Pi. […]

sylvan avatar

Great news!

Sorry about the UK manufacturing. Seems like this will make an excellent case study to lobby Parliament.

Being manufactured in Asia, I wonder if it would be possible to drop-ship to the US and in what quantity? Perhaps in the future?

Tony Chang avatar

I am from manufacture in Taiwan with SMD and DIP line. I am in UK Nottingham now.
Maybe they can help. but about 1 week time, will be Chinese new year, all will be on holiday. so need after that will be about end of Jan. it’s OK for you? all the components are ready? All the PCB are ready?

Armen avatar


Andreas Eriksson avatar

Congrats! Good luck with the manufacturing.

Stefan Svensson avatar

Almost there. Push! Push!

The Cageybee avatar

Liz, in regards to the imported components attracting import duty, you could have done what most sellers on ebay do and just write on the package “less then $5 value. No duty”, or some such thing. It’s always worked for me.

Being serious for just a moment, I was under the impression that the majority of components don’t attract import duty and it was only if they’ve been soldered that duty needs to be paid.

That way finished products, and I guess partially finished products, manufactured aboard naturally pay import duty, but separate components don’t there by giving an advantage for products ‘Made in Britain’.

Despite the fact that it seems I’ve totally got the wrong end of the stick, it would seem to make a lot more sense than the system as it currently stands.

What do you think?

[…] substructure discussed a production skeleton in a statement published on a central blog. The classification had creatively hoped to have all of a production […]

Mark Thomas avatar

I’m so pleased to hear the news! As far as having to manufacture abroad, think globally and be pleased that someone, somewhere, will be better off for the work.

amusicsite avatar

Agreed I would pay a premium for a UK produced board knowing it was helping create jobs here. Go for one of the cheaper low run places and give them the money.

In fact it would be good if to could distribute the manufacture around the world producing them where there is demand rather than shipping the components to the UK only to ship them around the world from here. It’s just a same you can’t produce the components you use here too.

Jameson Williams avatar

I am planning to buy one of these (when in production) to build out a proof-of-concept media box. Bet there are many like me.

Jon Mawson avatar

Really looking forward to getting my hands on a ‘B’

Ratchet avatar

I have to say I am somewhat disappointed both by this announcement and by the communities response. I am however not remotely surprised by the decision having seen some ‘interesting’

ambitions regarding the move to full production. Let me start by saying I very much approve of this Projects primary goal of providing an inexpensive platform for people to get to grips with

writing code and potentially also understand how a widely deployed family of operating systems works under the bonnet. I personally very much look forwards having one to play with myself

despite the fact that I have no qualms about meddling with Linux in a VM or indeed dual booting.
However, between the sycophantic responses along the lines of “Oh well at least you tried”, and the wholly justifiable irritation with UK import duty rules there have also been some sideways

swipes at the CEM’s in the UK themselves. These have suggested the CEM’s in the UK are rip-off merchants out to line their pockets with unsavoury and unfair margins. Worse still some if not

all of these comments seem to be coming from people directly involved with the process and the foundation itself.
As a humble worker for a nice friendly, small and long-standing OEM/CEM based in the UK, I find this all rather insulting. I also have to wonder just how hard you tried and how you couldn’t

see this coming a mile-off when a key member of your team runs a CEM himself and so understands perfectly well how both he and his competition operate. While you complain about import duty,

if you were genuinely contemplating UK manufacture you would have been basing your costs on components sourced from UK suppliers such as AVNET, Farnell etc, the import duties would be built

in. If you start costing things based on such useless data as manufacturer SRP or its cost in Dollars last time you checked, you leave yourself open to factors beyond your control like supply

and demand and changing interest rates.
While you may find 14 weeks ridiculous, you should consider what you were asking. I was shocked when I saw you post in January that you had just began asking suppliers for quotes from UK

CEM’s while still looking to ship at the months end. In effect you were looking for a UK based supplier to have significant capacity ready to begin production almost immediately source-

>setup->make->inspect->test->box->ship. This would in turn imply that CEM had that capacity just sitting around waiting for you to request it.
While UK manufacturing as a whole may be a shadow of its former colonial glory, the electronics industry is a thriving area rich with competition and represented by anything from one man in

his garage to multi-million pound companies with 100’s of employees. It is in fact one of the worlds largest and has a significant share of the market when it comes to custom design and niche

markets (e.g wireless technologies or indeed HiFi). Of course the rise of China poses some threat, so while China may focus on knocking out big batches in long runs cheaply, we instead look

to what we call Low-Volume High-Mix, this means we are geared to being able to switch from doing 10,1000 or 1000 of one product to another with minimal or even no downtime while we re-tool.

This is reflected by the machinery we buy and thereby directly correlates to the pricing, we work slower but have vastly more flexibility..

liz avatar

I’m not going to respond to some of your speculation here, but I will just point out that we did not start looking for CEMs in January – we’ve been working at it since last May, well before we even had finalised designs.

The Cageybee avatar

” shadow of its former colonial glory”

Hmm. I see. You’re one of those people are you? Has anyone told you what century this is ‘cos it sounds to me like you’re living in Victorian times.

For the record, there is nothing “glorious” about subjugating peoples in countries around the world merely to exploit them. The world has moved on quite a bit since those days.

Perhaps you should try to catch up to the rest of the world, catch up with modernity and learn to compete in the global marketplace.

Armen avatar


[…] foundation discussed its manufacturing plans in a statement published on its official blog. The organization had originally hoped to have all of the […]

Bantammenace avatar

Raspberry Pi seems to be following the James Dyson school of product development; use the innovation and design capabilities of the western world to create a product but use the production capacity and skills of the far east to manufacture it. Where do you think the big money is to be made ? Its in the manufacturing. Just look at the recent lists of the world’s wealthiest people.
By initially deciding on having a world competitive price-point there was no way it could ever be manufactured in the UK.
I’ll leave it to others to say whether its a good thing or not.
Suffice it to say that Charitable organisations in the UK have an ethical and moral responsibility that ought to transcend the bottom line. Though of course the ends (price point and market share) justify the means (not supporting the UK electronics industry by manufacturing here).
Once I take delivery of my imported Pi my first project will be to teach it to re-align its moral compass.

MrBlather avatar

I would just like to say thanks for all the hard work you have put in, I used to be an electronic engineer and know how hard it is to get any product from design into production. Seeing this along with various other ‘Maker’ projects reminds me of the old hobby clubs and bedroom coding that helped kicked off some big industry names. I’m looking forward to playing with this and introducing my sons to the type of tinkering I did as a child. So thanks again and keep it up.

Steve avatar

I’ve signed the E-Petition and shared on my Facebook wall as I think it’s a ridiculous state of affairs. It may be possible for someone from the foundation to get their MP to submit an Early Day Motion, too. Not many are actually debated in parliament, but even with 100,000 signatures, an E-petition isn’t guaranteed to be discussed, either.

[…] Source: Raspberrypi -6.334273 106.732911 Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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[…] We’ve started manufacture! (Raspberry Pi vía […]

Karel avatar

I am also saddened that you cannot use local manufacturing (although I am in AU) but I understand why 8-S

I however am waiting for the R-Pi to come available, I have been looking for something like this for quite a while and I am really excited by the prospect. Hopefully I will be able to get one before the initial batch runs out 8-)

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email […]

sam avatar

I see a lot of people blaming the government here…
You do realize that the main problem the labor cost itself, not the taxes, right?
Thing is, Chinese are willing to work for very low wage and no social advantages while UK workers wants money, medical care, syndicate, etc…

And unlike what people presumes, chinese made does not mean poor quality.
Chinese can do what we want, at the quality that we want. Thing is, most US/UK company tell them “I refuse to pay you more than 3$ per unit, make that happen”. The company decides to produce low quality products, not the manufacturer.

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[…] di sempre: Raspberry Pi non solo ha terminato il proprio ciclo di development, ma finalmente è stato dato il via all’operazione di manufacturing. ch_client = "luca"; ch_width = 500; ch_height = 250; ch_type […]

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John Taflan avatar

China already has us by the balls and it’s because they don’t give a shit about their people or their working conditions. As engineers we have a responsibility to make decisions based on more than just cost. That kind of bullshit is reserved for the douchebag MBAs. I had a lot of respect for you guys until now. I’ll wait and buy a more expensive UK manufactured board.

~Neil~ avatar

…made with components produced in China.

anon2012 avatar

Look around, your “white shelled” iphone, ipad, ipod are top of the price range, sold by a Western company, they are all made in China. Wake up!!!

[…] the full write up visit the Raspberry Pi  website. Tweet Share View […]

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email this | Comments Publish Date : Wed, 11 Jan 2012 21:29:00 EDT Source : […]

Vindicator avatar

Congratulations, I hope I can get one when they start to sell.
The decision has been made so please quit beating a dead horse, the Importance of the mission of the foundation and the children it is meant for should easily over shadow the politics of how to accomplish the task at hand.
If it was your house up for grabs you would want the best deal possible regardless of these politics.
Again great job Raspi foundation and ignore the trolls they wish they could accomplish what you are doing.

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email […]

Kevin Hoos avatar

I can’t wait until I get my hands on some pi(es)! I have several projects that would be perfect for pi! :) And raspberry is such a great flavor!!! :)

I wonder what shipping will cost to California… Doesn’t matter, I will still buy it! :) Any possibility for overnight shipping? LOL :)

Chris Masiero avatar

Firstly, fantastic work on the design of this small but mighty device. Wonderful.

In regards to the cost of doing business in Britain with taxes (and I imagine any part manufacture in Britain would be much higher than the Far East as you call it), have you considered that it is this actually undervalues the products and what should be the true cost to a consumer? I know it’s not for you to make a stand against these things, but in a small way you might be in a fairly unique position to do so.

Perhaps it might be useful to find out if people would pay for a ‘Made In Britain’ version of the device, priced accordingly (what 60$-70$), and tagged as such. You could at least put it out there, as I get the feeling that having a ‘Made In Britain’ model alongside your ‘Far East’ product would still be successful considering the considerate nature of the people you are attracting with this project. I certainly would, whilst still donating a ‘Far East’ model to those who do have economic conditions similar to a developing county (I’d definitely include UK schools here!).

It just seems as though we all, through one way or another, fall into the greed trap of production overseas with little concern to the real value that these products should be when sold to those not in a developing country. And since I know you’re not in this to make profit and have good ethical goals, you have, unlike many, a good platform to do something.

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[…] foundation discussed its manufacturing plans in a statement published on its official blog. The organization had originally hoped to have all of the […]

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Nick avatar

I really don’t know what the problem seems to be about using China to manufacture the board. I was under the impression that the aim of this project was to get children interested in programming. The cheaper you can make the board, the more likely children will get hold of one. That’s a much better aim than trying to “bootstrap the UK electronics industry”. Just my thoughts on the matter. Nick.

tbar avatar


DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

The “education” part isn’t just for fun. The UK IT industry used to be incredibly mighty and enormous. Nowadays, all production lies elsewhere and the UK has fallen down to mere consumption and services. Besides educating the kids, it would be advised to actually give them jobs in their own country. This requires stimulating the IT industry. One of the ways the raspi foundation can give a huge boost to IT industry is by giving multi-million pound orders to British companies.

From a macro-economic standpoint, it is a very bad idea to have more import than export. By purchasing possible hundreds of thousands of raspberry pi from Asia, we are contributing to import; sending money to Asia we won’t see back.

Why is it so hard to grasp that international trade is a bad thing for the citizens of Europe?

Chris Masiero avatar

I think you are replying to my statement, even though you didn’t ‘officially’ reply to my post (annoying!), however I just like to point out that I don’t think bringing down the cost for the sake of children’s education is incorrect here. If you re-read, perhaps you might see that I explicitly put schools into a category where the small cost from china actually equates to a similar financial position.

For me, It’s not about industry bootstrapping, it’s about the bigger picture of something that I really don’t quite know how to explain simply for you.

However, I’m being a bit soap boxy, so apologies. The design is wonderful.

Armen avatar


Armen avatar

My +1 was intended for nick

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email this | Comments In category: […]

Dominic avatar

Silly suggestion coming up. Can we make the boards in the UK charge a premium to recover the margin and call it something like “organic finest no difference”. Perhaps a different colour or shade for the pcb so we can tell its organic.

After seeing the prices of the beta boards on ebay, perhaps making another 10 special additions (Union jack cotloured PCB?) would boost the charities coffers.

Chris Masiero avatar

I don’t think you get it. Thanks for trashing the idea though with sarcasm and vitriol. Always a fine way to discuss ideas.

It’s not about charity.

Nick McCallum avatar

Quick question regarding the finished item (when posted). Will it come with the SD card with a linux distro compiled or is thins something we will have to do?

Will it also come with a power supply or is this also something we’ll have to get?

Apologies if this has been asked before, i did search around and couldn’t find an answer to it.

Kris Chaplin avatar

The PSU and SD card will need to be sourced by yourself – please see here:


Nick McCallum avatar

So cost will actually be a bit more to get it ‘useable’
Say £2+ for 2gb SSD or more like £10 for a 16gb
Usb charger: £10ish?

Then need tv/hdmi cable and KB/Mouse and then +postage for everything I guess to make this into a usable system not just a board its actually more like £45 – £60.

Still not a fortune but not £22 ;)

Kris Chaplin avatar

Well, it depends on what you mean by useable. That all depends on your project. Not all projects will use all the IO. I would say useable would be with just an SD card (£2), two USB cables, one for power, the other for UART, which would be between £0 and £1.98 for two MicroUSB cables via ebay posted.

This should be enough to get a console up and running, and create a truely embedded system.

If you wanted a plug in mains brick, this would replace your £0.99p USB cable with a £1.98 brick. An HDMI Cable £1.15, USB Keyboard £3.11+68p postage and USB Mouse £1.34. So by my reckoning, if you had no kit at all, and wanted to fully populate to your specs using cheap but new ebay-based hardware, it would cost an extra £10.26.

Ivo avatar

While sitting here waiting, I have a nice feeling of deja vu about waiting for a ground breaking computer called the ‘model B’, anyone else?

I would like to create a factory full of robots, in my garage, powered by RasPi’s building some future batch of 10,000 RasPi’s, beating the competition on price and quality all over the world, the last one on the line, stamping ‘Made in Britain’.

I’m off to burn some time looking for my meccano…

keep up the good work guys.

[…] We’ve started manufacture! (Raspberry Pi vía […]

Ethan avatar


“Countries that may block the import due to their local laws include China. ”

Oh, the irony……… :O

liz avatar

The Wiki is not run by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, but by the community – and it’s not *always* correct…

[…] We’ve started manufacture! (Raspberry Pi vía […]

Vince avatar

Congratulation to all of the hard-working Raspi folks!

Sure, European manufacturing would have been a nice symbol. But the Pi is a global product! What counts for me is that workers’ conditions are decent, no matter whether it’s in Europe or anywhere else. While usually it’s the other way around, you can find disastrous working conditions in Europe, and acceptable conditions in Asia. Just read carefully the reports in your favourite newspaper.

It really depends on the particular situation, and I fully trust the foundation to have chosen a place where the workers’ conditions are acceptable.

Armen avatar

*+1* specially the global product part

[…] Raspberry Pi Foundation announced via their official blog that the first run of 10,000 Model B PCs has already begun, but added that initial plans to […]

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email this | Comments [+] Share & Bookmark • Twitter • […]

[…] are going towards funding the charity arm (ha!) of the company. Interesting piece on their website here) about manufacturing costs and how they wanted to keep it all UK based. Very tempted to get one of […]

[…] started manufacturing them!! We’ve started manufacture! | Raspberry Pi Can't wait to get my hands on one. __________________ 2011 Winner of Best Site Award and […]

[…] Raspberry Pi Foundation announced via their official blog that the first run of 10,000 Model B PCs has already begun, but added that initial plans to […]

Ian avatar

I think some of you are missing the point of this device. You may very well be prepared to pay a premium for it to see it manufactured in the UK but as far as I can see the target consumer here is the average school child. While some of you may be out earning a reasonable salary and can afford to be generous with your money the child in school does not and can not. The idea of making it for the smallest cost is to enable schools to provide the device for little or even no cost to the children to promote programming skills development not to support British industry (although I agree it would have been a bonus) or pander to the techy who seems only able to see the device for what it can do for him or her. If you’re really enthused by this like I am then why don’t you contact your local school and use your knowledge in the field to promote this. Even volunteer to demonstrate the device and it’s capabilities when you’ve had a chance to evaluate it yourselves. This has the potential to be a game changer in the future education of our children being so inexpensive and so portable.

JamesH avatar

Well put.

Allan avatar

Indeed, very well put Ian.

Chris Masiero avatar

So do you believe that double the cost of the wonderful little device would be too much?


How much is a pair of sneakers these days?

I don’t really think that the cost issue as an argument holds enough water, although I will admit that for shear shock value, the price will certainly create attention that may enable it to gather the momentum it needs to penetrate the education sector. This benefit does not escape me.

JamesH avatar

Yes, the price is vital. If this device was $60, it would be too much. Lots of thought went in to trying to estimate a a maximum price (years worth of thought!) How much thought have you put in to it?

Sneakers are over priced, and if people are foolish enough to pay lots for them, that’s their lookout.

David R avatar

Of course price is an issue. I teach in an FE college, our IT department has an annual budget of about £8,000 to spend on specialist equipment (not bog standard computers – they are from a central budget). With 200 odd students studying various IT courses, this would be a difference between spending half the budget or not being able to buy each student a raspberry pi and not being able to buy any other equipment for the year. At the price of a textbook the model A is ideal, and the model B only a little more is still affordable.

Just because you can afford the extra money for your individual project, buying for large numbers whilst still maintaining a small budget is a serious constraint.

Andre_P avatar

Hi All,
I’ve just contacted my local MP’s office, tomorrows surgery is fully booked out, however next weeks might be available. My MP is Chris Huhne so he ‘might’ have something to say about it.

Who knows, I’ll keep you posted :).


[…] foundation discussed its manufacturing plans in a statement published on its official blog. The organization had originally hoped to have all of the […]

Andre_P avatar

Will you have at least five minutes for a cup of tea ?

[…]  |  Raspberry Pi  | Email […]

John Swallow avatar

Pleaae advise when ready

JamesH avatar

Subscribe to the mailing list on the front page, then you will be advised when ready.

manuel avatar

But please write BEFORE you open the shop. Not like “Go! The shop is open!”. More like “Shop will open in 5 hours, so be prepared” ;)

yetihehe avatar

Pre-notice is NOT a good idea. If you notice everyone ahead of time, everyone will plan their time and rush at the exact hour. If you notice them after opening, it will take time for some people to read mail and it will result in somewhat smaller rush (maybe servers will survive this one).

[…] behind the Raspberry Pi Linux computer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, announced in a blog post that the two ARM 11 […]

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Jez avatar

Hi. Great news that production has started.

can you please confirm the dimensions of the board, locations.of fixing holes etc so that we can start planning for the arrivals? That should keep us distracted whilst we drum our fingers impatiently!


JamesH avatar

Dimensions have been posted on the forum somewhere by Gert.

Armen avatar

:D I thought I was the only one REALLY IMPATIENT about this! :D …. it’s good to know I’m not alone … misery seeks company :) … the city I’m in right now is kind of temporary [I count the days to get out!] otherwise I would have ordered a BeagleBoard-xM right now to play with it till Pies are being baked. This Raspi project got me really interested in linux (specially the fact that it all boots up from an SD card and you can mess with it as much as you like without putting your pc at risk)

gio10 avatar

You can already play with linux w/o any risk!
Install it on an USB key and you can boot from any PC.

Armen avatar

:D Yeah good idea! Thanks! But do you promise it won’t mess anything on my PC? :D Becuase that’s the only window I have to “the world out there” in this cultural desert … but there are also problems with internet speed limits *allowed* here, for home users it’s 128Kbits/s (when the infrustructure is capable of HSDPA speeds!!! WiMax actually) … for your info I’m not in jail :D it’s a country … but forget the whole thing! Patience is a virtue :D

Michael avatar

Dimensions as previously communicated by Gert are on:


Height is provisional – I don’t think the team have confirmed the exact height. Unfortunately there are no mounting holes on the first batches as there wasn’t any space left. Forum members hare suggested using edge mounting or using an unpopulated header mating to the GPIO pins to assist with mounting the PCB.

DaveF avatar

I think you might be somewhat over subscribed when you start selling.
It might be an idea to specially prefer School orders and maybe have a number of units sold to individuals based on a lottery.
Just a thought.

JamesH avatar

It’s going to be first come first served. Schools will be catered for later in the year, once all the niggles have been irons out by the initial purchasers!

DaVince avatar

Imagine me doing a silly dance and singing “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes” over and over. That’s how excited I am about manufacture.

The fact that you actually stumbled across a rather major manufacture/tax problem could be considered as good, as acknowledged problems can actually be solved. Let’s hope they will be.

Paul Groepler avatar

Here’s a thought…what about ‘near-shoring’ in Mexico or eastern Europe? Mexico has worked well for me. I’m just saying’…

Frank avatar

So, where one can buy it once it’s ready?

JamesH avatar

Link to buy will be on this site.

LAF avatar

When the boards go on sale, where will we be able to purchase them from??

JamesH avatar

Did you forget to read the FAQ’s and the Wiki, and the forum?

guru avatar

Don’t forget the ‘Shop’ link at the top.

Dave H. avatar

OK who’s the newbie that didn’t know about the UK component TAX ?
It’s a bit late in the development process to suddenly find this out isn’t it?
Someone needs to be fired!

JamesH avatar

Always known about, but other issues meant it was the straw that broke the ‘made in UK’ back.

Difficult to fire someone from a charity that has no employees.

NormanDunbar avatar

What’s with everyone just now? All this calling for sackings, and punishing people who didn’t know etc etc. Get a life people, support the charity and stop bl–dy whining.

And read the FAQ before asking again and again where or when it will be on sale. You lot are costing a tight Jock (!) a fortune in dowload fees with your repetative questions.

Only kidding!

James – you’ve been very patient so far, I predict that you may crack soon!


liz avatar

We’ve been aware of it for a long time – I don’t have the links to hand, but you may be interested in googling David Braben + component tax.

DaveH avatar

Of course you’ve been aware of it for a long time. You didn’t want to tell anyone. Charity should be clear, and open. Not some kind of ‘oh big surprise everybody, we have to make it in China!’ on some blog. Come on!!!

Kris Chaplin avatar

I think that this foundation has been very transparent, far more than others that would just be in stealth mode until a product is released. These guys have gone way above and beyond in creating a community and keeping us informed about many of the details of the process. Do I expect to be made aware of every conversation, and detail? No. Do I trust that they will to “the right thing”?Yes. Don’t forget, they don’t have any of your money and things can change well after initial planning, for example availability of parts, layers on the PCB, and of course quotes and capacity.

Michael avatar

You might like to go and re-read the blog post. As well as the import tax problem, Liz cited other problems with UK manufacture:
* All the UK companies they approached cited 12-14 weeks for manufacture, compared with 3-4 weeks typically in the Far East
* Many of the UK companies couldn’t provide the kind of volumes that the Foundation requires
* Those that could meet the volume requirements were significantly more expensive than the others, and significantly more expensive than competitors in the Far East

[…] nota en la que Rasperry Pi ha anunciado que ya empiezan a fabricarse sus miniordenadores gasta más del resto de su longitud en contarnos […]

[…] nota en la que Rasperry Pi ha anunciado que ya empiezan a fabricarse sus miniordenadores gasta más del resto de su longitud en contarnos […]

[…] a scopi didattici, che sarà in vendita tra qualche settimana.Per saperne di più, finisco sul blog dei creatori di questa piccola grande idea e trovo un racconto che mi lascia senza parole. Non si […]

mikewhit avatar

“Raspberry Pis started being made a couple of days ago” – you had better adjust that [Raspberry Pis] for any Danish readers !
How about “Raspberry Pi”s …?

Clive Bennett avatar

What about all the Sinclair ZX Spectrums manufactured in Scotland during the 1980’s. Were things so very different then? Understandably, the Raspberry Pi will be manufactured at the lowest cost to produce a reasonable final selling price. But the Spectrum cost £175 in 1982 and used imported components and Sir Clive made millions selling them even though they were made by TIMEX in Greenock.

anon2012 avatar

The Hippies called, they wanted you back. You are 30 years late to the party.

guest avatar

Look for the door-stop at the bottom right of this page:


it also quoted the following

From the Sinclair ZX81 Operating Supplement:

Question: “My computer seems to be ‘crashing’ when I use the 16K RAM module, even though it never does when I use the computer alone. What can be the problem?”

Answer: “If the 16K is causing your computer to ‘crash’ after a few minutes of use, then you should try the following: Clean the contacts by vigorously rubbing the electrical contacts on the printed circuit board with a pencil eraser. Tape the RAM pack to the computer to prevent loss of contact due to accidental movement.”

Jockrico avatar

Hi, just a minor detail; the Timex factory was in Dundee, Scotland. Possibly thinking of IBM in Greenock?

adrian.oconnor avatar

Well yes, things were very different back then. I’m not sure what your point is, but £175 adjusted for inflation is still a pretty substantial sum of money.

And I don’t think it was a great computer…

We had a ZX81 that my Dad built from the kit. I only remember it being turned on once or twice (though I’d have only been about 2 or 3 years old when he built it so he may have used it more in the early days). I do remember it doing absolutely nothing – we had no software and no idea how to make it do anything useful with Basic – and those membrane keys simply didn’t work. Luckily, we got a Commodore 64 that did actually do stuff, so the ZX81 got relegated to the loft.

John Benson avatar

I can distinctly remember that my Spectrum was made by Samsung…

Chris Hill avatar

Excellent idea – only just found about you and brilliant news about going into production – shame about the location but hey the joys of a world economy – it would have been good if there was another charitable foundation in the far east which could have handled the manufacture so that we have a charity here supporting a charity there.

Well done on an excellent project and here’s hoping my son will stop moaning about boring computing lessons!

[…] részletek itt […]

Nikita Volkov avatar

As soon as I heard about your project immediately became interested in them, and I’m glad that it will soon begin selling! As soon as he appears in Russia must buy!
From Russia with Love

[…] un computer microscopico dalle grandi potenzialità, il Raspberry PI. Beh, i progettisti si sfogano sul blog, parlando della loro ricerca di un’azienda che glielo produca. Indovina alla fine chi hanno […]

[…] do mundo que custa apenas US$ 25, começou finalmente a ser produzido, anunciou a fabricante em seu site oficial. A expectativa agora é que as primeiras unidades comecem a ser entregues no fim de janeiro. A […]

James avatar

I’m curious about this tax issue, it’s a real shame if it’s true. Having scouted through the import duty rates for electronics though I can’t see how. Electronic assemblies do indeed attract 0% duty, but so do IC’s and PCBs?

György Antal szára avatar

All your endevours touched me deeply. I strive to publish your charitable business toward companies who are my friend. But how can I knkow what kinde of software is under the hut I wish you further a success.

RandomRomanian avatar

(When) Will the Raspberry Pi be available outside Great Britain, for example, Romania?
And since I read it’s mostly for education, will the tech manual, OS source code and documentation be available online?

Thank you.

liz avatar

Please read the FAQ – the link is at the top of the page.

teopost avatar

Who is the manufacturer of Taiwan?

NAB avatar

Some would say “God”, others would say “a lot of time and a lot of happenstance”.

The name, of course, is man-made.

Isn’t this a question for a theological board rather than an IT forum?


gio10 avatar

English humour!

[…] Nadcia to oznmila tento tde. […]

Mattw avatar

I wish I could say that its surprising how many people find something to complain about even when other people are putting so much hard work into something without pay.

I used to be involved in a quite big and successful open source project and learnt that there are lots of people who think that you owe them something or need to do what they think should be done, even though they aren’t paying anything or putting in any effort into helping the project themselves.

Ok, I think most people would have liked it have been manufactured in the UK, but as has been mentioned at this point, meeting the price points that had been set has to be a more important issue. Otherwise the same people (and others like the press) who are complaining about where it is being manufactured would be moaning that it didn’t keep its promise to be on sale for X amount.

The only small query I would have is how long the foundation has known that it was unlikely to be able to have them made in the UK. I would think they have known for a while now so maybe they could have said something earlier. But there could be lots of reasons why they didn’t or couldn’t say anything earlier. Maybe they were still hoping that they could work something out in the end or maybe they were in confidential talks with a UK manufacture.

A much bigger issue in my mind is why there wasn’t at least one UK based company, that had the ability to make these boards in the required amounts, who would offer to support a charity and make the first batch or two for free.

Surely the aim of the project is good enough for one of these companies to support it in that way. But on top of that is possibility that in a few months time there could be orders for hundreds of thousands or millions of boards.

JamesH avatar

In answer to the how long question – not that long – less than a couple of months, and LOTS of effort was made trying to find somewhere in the UK in the meantime.

Angel avatar

I’m sure this has been brought before but why not scrap the A version and just keep the B version?

[…] the device, had originally intended to have it manufactured entirely in the United Kingdom. It says that has proven impossible, with reasons including a slower turnaround time and difficulty finding manufacturers that could […]

Jvs avatar

I would like to pre-order 6 of the B models!

PiMSE avatar

Congrats. The Economist’s reporter at CES put out a little piece about the R-Pi:

Keep it up. I’m looking forward to seeing the first production boards put up for sale.

spritrig avatar

I was very pleased that you planned to manufacture in the UK! I am disappointed in the tax penalty against UK manufacture. Wishing Raspberry Pi great success! From here in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Christ Curran avatar

As long as their solution isn’t to raise the tax (currently 0%) on assembled boards of course !

walney avatar

I remember when someone brought to government attention that it was iniquitous for men to work until 65 and women only 60 to get a state pension in the UK. I think that the expectation was that the pension age would be lowered for men… (reminds me of the film Bedazzled)

Tony avatar

Which would be seen as increasing tax on consumer goods, hence not good, votes wise.

Probably why they haven’t done it yet.. can’t think of a way of spinning it.

Jack avatar

The tax situation is ludicrous. In any other nation it would be the other way around. Taxes on finished goods, and none on components. No wonder we have such a huge trade deficit with manufacturing nations.

Separately, I read that the current school ICT program is to be scrapped in favour of a computer science based curriclum.
I don’t know if the move is directly attributable to Raspberri-Pi, but at the very least you’re voice must have been part of the chorus.
Fantastic news, well done!
Let’s hope for the same kind of result on this tax issue.

[…] Pi has started manufacture of its $35 […]

[…] it’s uneconomical to manufacture anything in the UK: If we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company […]

Vindicator avatar

I just don’t believe all the fuss about a Chinese factory when the people complaining have probably bought some item this week or even possibly today that was also manufactured in a Chinese factory with little or absolutely no thought about its workforce plight to produce that item. Give it a rest and please don’t buy a Raspi there are plenty of us who will buy one. This is a charity for education purposes and not a charity to solve the ills of all the world or your psychiatric problems.

Go away and let them get on with the great mission they have undertaken while you sit on your butt and whine like a baby.

Try setting up a foundation and put your time and money into it if you believe in it this feverishly.

Ed Wilson avatar

Copying raspberrypi.org into a Facebook post, the available thumbnails do not include your logo. You need to include it in such a way as to put it at the top of the list.

John avatar

It needs an tag to work properly. Grep the net for Open Graph Protocol.

John avatar

My last comment got mashed. Going to try again: It needs a <og:image> tag… or it needs a (og:image)-replace-the-brackets-with-relative-operator-symbols tag… or just read the OGP spec!!

Kendall Bennett avatar

Good job on the Rasberry PI, I would like to congratulate you for taking this into a direction that no one has. I personally am going to order 4-5 of these just for my house.

Keep up the good work!!!

Bastiat's Ghost avatar

Perhaps you need a little Frederic Bastiat or Lew Rockwell to cure your mind of nationalistic nostalgia. Where things are built geographically is economically irrelevant. If it is more efficient for the neighbor next door to build a widget and for you to purchase it from them, than for your brothers and sisters in your own house to be paid to build said widget, then it is no loss to your brothers and sisters – they must simply find things that they are more efficient at building for others.

This is known as division of labor, and it increases the efficiency of an economy rather than harming it. There are certainly things that are more efficiently done in Britain than in Taiwan or China, and as such Taiwan and China pay Britishers to do these things.

The more “free” the trade between neighbors and distant cousins the better off they all are, as you can see in this case it might even be efficient once again to build electronics in Britain if import duties (tariffs, essentially), did not exist – not that anyone *should* care where electronics are built. The less free the trade between neighbors and distant cousins is, the more convoluted and chaotic the economy becomes, as it is more difficult to determine the value of exchange.

Bastiat himself is far more elegant in his prose than I could ever hope to be, so I do recommend his great works “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen”, “The Law”, and the “Petition of Candlestick Makers”. You can find these for free online.

Lew Rockwell also works tirelessly at banishing misconceptions and obfuscations with his Mises Institute, where you can find many other great works by Bastiat and others, free online as well.

The language of liberty causes terrible pain for the nation state and the nationalistic fervor that protects it, however it brings wonderful joy for the human spirit.

Roberto Selmi avatar

when they go on sale?

Jutt McDowell avatar

Congratulations. In the future could you not consider getting UK prisoners to assemble add on boards etc. that way you benefit from people working for £10 a week, the prisoners benefit from earning money, being out of cells and learning a skill and your intended users benefit from lower costs to them or maybe you could donate more. you might even save a couple of petty criminals from a worthless life, if you teach them a new skill which could lead to a real job. you would probably get a positive response once they understood how it will benefit poor childrens education as a lot of criminals come from underprivilidged backgrounds and even the most hardened hate ‘nonces’ and love children.

JamesH avatar

Well, most prisons don’t have access to the £100k Pick and place robot which is needed to make the boards! But seriously, these boards cannot be made reliably by hand – they need specialise equipment. It’s pretty much an automated process – just need someone to stuff components reels in at one end. Whether manufacturers would be interested in prisoner training, I don’t know.

Jutt McDowell avatar

i understand you cant make the actual computers in that enviroment. but there has been much talk about producing development boards – the gertboard for example: if the gertboard is going to be sold as a kit you can make at home with a soldering iron or as a preassembled board for extra cost then that is the sort of product cheap labour could be used for. you dont need to be highly skilled or working under laminer flow hoods to produce ‘hobby boards’ and many of the after market products that appear to work alongside the main product will be just that – designed for hobbyists. anyways thank you for your reply.

Vindicator avatar

I work for the US Army and we have contracted with federal prisons and the quality of workmanship sucks.
Out of 100 engines that we received from prison industries only 25 could be actually assembled in a product without rework, 20 of them required being re-contracted by a private company to be completely reworked as they failed in every respect of the contract, and the rest were reworked by us at a loss off 4300 man hours to get the engines to a standard that met the requirements. so your idea, even though your meant it facetiously would be a complete waste of time.

They are prisoners after all and you can not fire them for crappy work so you get what you pay for (federal prisoners get about a dollar per hour if i were to guess). Whether we like it or not it is now a world economy so get used to it.

My last job went to South America after I worked in the plant for 15 1/2 years because of California workman compensation laws and other factors attributed to the government and I still buy Jeld-wen doors and windows.

You probably buy from Walmart,Best-buy, etc. etc. or their British or otherwise counterpart and get Chinese made goods all the time and even if they are not a Chinese product it probably has some Chinese components assembled in it.

Colin Harris avatar

We are very excited about the Pi here, congratulations on getting the device to manufacture I hope it inspires as many people in the next generation as David did in this one.

Thomas avatar

Will be there some way to buy it via internet to Poland?

JamesH avatar


Karttikeya avatar

Whoa, that is AWESOME. Where and when can we buy this. (India).

JamesH avatar


Antario avatar

Lol : )

Norman Dunbar avatar

Looks like James finally cracked!

JamesH avatar


[…] Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that it has reached the manufacturing stage for the first batch of 10,000 of Model B versions. The […]

[…] Niestety ta edycja nie będzie miała kontrolera LAN. Więcej informacji znajdziecie na oficjalnym blogu Raspberry Pi. […]

Wud avatar

Typical, government was to boost manufacturing in the UK, but wont aid in the process, how can we make stuff, which will not be competitive!

Adrian avatar

Excellent work & congratulations to all the team.
Is it possible to have counter on the home page showing the numbers produced on a daily update? Would help build the excitement & anticipation even more !

Jay Bhagat avatar

Don’t forget to factor in how many people didn’t make a R-Pi shop account or an eBay account. That takes up a minute or two while maybe 10-20 more Pi’s are sold.

Kev avatar

Very much looking forward to buying a Pi no matter where its made

Nerius avatar

Dear All,

I’m not from UK, but from other EU country (Lithuania). I’ve been working on electronic production facility in my home country for a couple of years (security alarms and home automation devices), so my suggestions:
1/ If we don’t want to completely kill EU electronic manufacturing industry, import duties for assembled electronic devices should be made. The price difference between manufacturing in China and EU is huge. And difference is because of difference of work conditions, taxes, salary, etc… Why not to make something similar to Brazil: even Apple (or manufacturing partner) was forced to build factory here, because of huge import taxes on electronics.
2/ Maybe, after some time, you should think about possibility to establish on site manufacturing facility: one SMD placer, one stencil printer (could be manual/semi-manual), one lead-free reflow owen and two people: it should be enough. People even can work part time: depends on manufacturing requirements.It could be used equipment, which is possible to purchase in good working condition for maybe 20K-30K USD, or even less (depends on production capacity, search time and luck)

Best regads

Gannon avatar

I look forward to being able to change Book Reader formats (with Calibre) to suit my needs as well as bypass the Book Reader Company Store if convenient. At present this takes at least an additional netbook or phone. The fun part of reading is being away from email and phones … you see the contradiction.

Please, make them. Quicker.

Ollie Ford avatar

Speaking as a lover of both Britain and technology (and fast delivery times of it!) – is it not possible that after dealing with the initial surge of purchases, you could switch to UK manufacturing?

Admittedly this wouldn’t necessarily tackle the problem of pricing (might have to beat them with a stick a bit), but at least there wouldn’t be the issue of “waiting a few months rather than a few weeks”, as the initial batch would already have been produced.

recycledmonkey avatar

I just ordered 10 off ICM7555 timer chips from China, for £1.04 on ebay, INCLUDING POSTAGE. From my local supplier, Maplin they were £1.38 EACH in their old 2009 catalogue. They are bound to have gone up since then. It is the same with other electronic components. The only problem is waiting for the parts to arrive. No wonder electronics manufacture in the UK has all but died.

John Egan avatar

In my mind Raspberry Pi is a mass consumer widget, just like Sinclair, Atari, Acorn etc from the 80’s. Once this project ramps up to a hundred thousand units *per month*, there is no factory in UK or Europe that could help. Raspberry Pi is a tool to encourage computer science thinking, teaching and programming in the UK. I’m also convinced it will spin off into the “third world” and have more impact than “one laptop per child” which is stuck at 200 dollars or so because it’s unable to reduce the price of the LCD screen.
Fully working CRT TVs are being abandoned to scrap all around the world, millions of mice and keyboards are junked just for being beige!
Raspberry Pi will be the heart of junkyard PCs across the globe. Once we get to that stage R-Pi will cost ten dollars each – maybe Bill Gates will step in …..

Jeff avatar

Also, when the orders do come, it would be wise to place a limit on how many people can buy – 2, or 1 of each model max, even less if the initial supply is limited, to ensure more people who have been waiting from the start get their hands on the initial batch.

Then open it up as numbers increase.

Antario avatar

There’s already a limit. For start, each and every on can buy only one unit. :)

Harrison avatar

I can’t help but think that you may have over looked the large amount of time that it will take the boards to actually get here once ordered, I know it can easily take a month or two on a ship unless you are getting airmail???

scep avatar

They have not overlooked this. Really.

John avatar

I can’t wait to get one!

[…] se ha hablado del Raspberry Pi o computador de 25 dólares, el cual a veces se creia que como experimento era interesante, pero […]

Cig avatar

It’s really sad that so many people who probably think of themselves as progressives, in a project with an emphasis on education, are supporting bigoted protectionism which is so deeply rooted in crass ignorance.

First, international trade is to the benefit of both parties: manufacturing in the UK rather than somewhere where they’re better at it as in this case makes both the UK and the other country poorer. The reasons for this are slightly counter intuitive, but it’s worth understanding (knowledge is your friend!), and anyone wanting to educate themselves could start here:


Secondly, even if that effect didn’t exist, it’s totally morally indefensible to allocate jobs on grounds of race, place of birth or place of residence, there’s only one human race. The only reason why you could discriminate on location is if the cost (monetary or environmentally) of shipping changes the balance of cost and benefits (unlikely for tiny electronics where the parts are probably coming from the far east anyway so it’s neutral whether they move assembled or not).

I think the Raspberry Pi project should distance itself from implied racism and economic ignorance and condemn protectionism and national preference unambiguously.

Arturo Vargas avatar

Congratulations to all the team, I can’t wait to have my board

About the china / uk discussion I guess that doesn’t matter where it will build if you can assure that the manufactures respects the rights of his employees

I wonder how many of the comments were made in a computer “designed in california, assembled in china”…

Tsvetan avatar

Many UK manufacturers outsource to China anyway, they can assembly few hundreds locally but when the order is 10K they can’t manufacture it efficiently with the x10 times higher labor cost, so outsource to China and this justify the 12-14 weeks they quote :)
So you can sign contract with UK manufacturer but your board still may/will be manufactured elsewhere.
We are located in Bulgarian and do assembly for manufacturers all around EU on regular basis.
So what you intend to keep the UK economy and electronics etc is great but anything which is against the common sense and logic just do not work, you will just poor money in UK company which will take the margin between what you pay and who can manufacture at the lowest cost.
There is no logic UK to compete with China in electronics manufacturing unless UK is ready to pay Chinese slaries :)

p4trykx avatar

I think that also more restrict pollution laws in Europe add to the cost.

Idar Lund avatar


You say ‘far east’, and telling us about China and Taiwan. Which country is the boards being built in? China or Taiwan? Or some other country in Asia?


[…] would start every day for the last few weeks. I am not good at keeping secrets,” said a blog post from the charity organization.The homegrown UK PC on a USB stick, however, is currently in the […]

Richard Mortimer avatar

I would appreciate notification when the Raspberry PI becomes available, thanks.

JamesH avatar

Mailing list subscription on the home page of the site.

[…] Raspberry azonban január 10-én végre bejelentette, hogy elindul a gyártás, sikerült megállapodniuk a befektetőkkel! Az eszköz csak a […]

Howard Long avatar

Hi Liz,

I have been reading about the Raspberry Pi with some interest, not least because I am of the 1970’s building-computers-in-dad’s-garage fraternity. But also, I am a UK-based electronics engineer and software engineer, and I have had quite some success with a design I brought to market about a year ago. It is also my first venture into manufacturing. Let me explain.

That quote may well be cheaper on paper, but I found that corners were cut wiith Far East assemblers. Most importantly, parts used were not what I had specified on the BOM (despite promises and assurances), and some were from questionable sources: ie, they didn’t work (think regulators throwing 5V onto your 1.5V bus, not pretty). My yield was only 60%.

Even the quality of PCBs was awful, about 10% had to be binned despite allegedly passing an electrical test at the board house.

Sure, you can reject batches, but that just puts you back to square one in terms of timeframes.

Also bear in mind the Chinese New Year that can easily add another couple of weeks to that schedule.

I leaned that manufacturers generally don’t even start assembly until the last minute. Of that four week quote, only the last week will be spent actually doing anything on your boards.

In short, unless you have someone you trust on the ground at the assembly plant, pressing the flesh and checking quality, you risk a messy and expensive result, both in terms of missed deadlines (ie, reputation) and cold hard cost.

In the end I switched back to a UK manufacturer. Sure, it’s not as “cheap” looking at that initial quote, but at least the yield is 98%, and any problems I have (parts shortage for example), is only a matter of a short drive away.

Good luck with your project, I am sure it will be a great success!


Stefan Hennig avatar

Would that be John Howard as in “FUNcube Dongle John Howard”? If yes, do you think that the raspberry PI has enough oomph to be the base of a portable software-radio?

Stefan Hennig avatar

HOWARD LONG! Sorry, I have huge problems handling human names. No offense meant! Really!

Chris Lambert avatar

Fantastic news about the concept. I only just heard about it last night from a computer scientist acquaintance. I’m afraid to say that manufacturing engineering is the Cinderella profession in the UK. I have been party to a major defence acquisition which will be announced in the next few months. It will, without question, be awarded to a Far Eastern contractor. Despite our long heritage, their manufacturing technology and general engineering and business acumen far out strips anything we have to offer. It is quite right that the UK places great emphasis on effective financial management. Being able to keep the score is of vital importance when running a complex business. However, every business needs to turn a profit too. And in the world of manufacturing, you can’t do that without highly skilled and able professionals who are at the cutting edge of their profession: who can design and develop flexible and cost effective solutions to meet the demands of the marketplace. It is a competitive world out there, and unfortunately the received wisdom in Britain leaves a lot to be desired. I wish you every success in this highly laudable venture. However, you may end up having to re-write the rule-book in manufacturing in the same way you have re-written the rule-book with this product. Unfortunately, we no longer seem to be nurturing, the combination of engineering know-how and business acumen that you are looking for.

Paul Nicolay avatar

Related to the manufacturing I suggest to contact the people who build the dongle for Funcube (another UK tech promoting project). They also went to Asia for manufacturing but returned to the UK due to quality issues !

JamesH avatar

As with anywhere, you get what you pay for. You can pay cheap Chinese prices and get tat, or more expensive (but still lots cheaper than the UK) and get good quality. Swings and roundabouts.

Howard Long avatar

James, Coincidentally I put the earlier note up on Jan 14 at 11:12am, and am the designer of the FUNcube Dongle. Feel free to contact me about my own trials and tribulations of far east manufacturing. In my experience I found manufacturing in the Far East to be a minefield, full of empty promises and assurances particularly in parts sourcing, but also on board quality. The only way I would do it again would be to have someone I trust there on the ground QAing the procurement and assembly process.

Many thanks, Howard

Jeff avatar

Well precisely, it’s who you know, as with most things in life. Don’t use your bad experience with a manufacturer in China with the whole Chinese manufacturing industry. They’re successful for a good reason (or several reasons)

Chris Lambert avatar

A further thought on the drift of manufacturing to China and other ‘low wage’ countries. If pay is such a significant factor, why is Germany doing so well? May I suggest that there is a lot more cost to getting a product to market than direct manufacturing. The reality is that even in established industries like automotive, direct manufacturing costs can be an amazingly small percentage of total cost and of the final retail price to the customer. The increased pipe-line costs associated with moving production thousands of miles away is often underestimated (grossly). Higher wage and higher tax economies have far superior infrastructure, which derives operational cost benefits that on their own can out weigh any direct labour saving. I could go on at length. I am sure there will be an example out there where labour cost differentials have made the outsource deal viable, but I have yet to encounter an outsource venture that has clearly worked on those lines. May I suggest we pay less attention to the press and more attention to the proportion of UK based science and technology graduates passing through our top universities as compared to the proportion originating from the Far East? We will find the answer there.

Joni avatar

Here is an interesting video about the trials and tribulations of manufacturing and mailing out the FunCube Dongle, a USB gum pack sized VHF/UHF SDR receiver by it’s inventor who resides in the UK….


Burngate avatar

Remarkable. This should be required viewing for all nay-sayers and complainers on this site.
Although a different product, there are parallels with R-Pi.
~3% failure rate. I would expect R-Pi to be in the same ball-park.
~150 sales per minute via Paypal. So 10k R-Pis should sell out in … just over an hour.

ErmannoA avatar

Great News! I’m not surprised about the manufacturing issues in UK, this is just one of many problem the manufacturing sector in general have across the EU, real shame. I read about the petition but is only for UK residents, sorry can’t help this way.

Ralph Corderoy avatar

Liz, so we’re clear when passing this complaint on to MPs, etc., can you be more precise on the tax on imported components. Customs duty, import VAT, something else?

richard77 avatar

I think one of the advantages of Chinese Manufacturers is they probably pay very little or no taxes on exported goods, and in some fields IIRC they also get from government subsides to cover duty fees.
This model is of course not feasible in UK or any Western country.
That said, my Birthday is on the first week of February, will I have a Rasperry Pi to put some candles on? :-)

Bruce avatar

This is a tribute to all involved in taking the raspberry pi from concept to item on the shelf. Given the governements announcement this week regards computing/computer sceince the device will make a massive contribution towards realising those aspirations – thank you one and all.

southpaw avatar

why is everyman and his dog getting so uptight about the quality of the boards, I have been sourcing electrical items from far east for some time now, and if you do your homework on the manufacturer, the quality of the finished product is not an issue. In getting this project to this state of play, i am pretty sure all at raspberry towers wont jeopardise it by using a manufacturer chosen from the chinese equivilent of yellow-pages, lighten up guys , the boards will be 1st class i`m sure, just hope there manufactured before chinese new year.
Well done to all at Raspberry foundation, a massive achievement in seeing your initial ideas come to fruition

Howard Long avatar

Southpaw, “sourcing electrical items” is very different to contract assembly. I can assure you that any excuse to slice a bit off here and a bit off there will be tried to maximise margin, and that includes substitution of innapropriate parts.

Doing your homework is indeed required, but that alone is not enough. You need your own representatives attending the factory overseeing operations on a regular basis at each stage. The last thing anyone wants is a dumpster full of boards that aren’t financially worth reworking.

I too agree that it is an excellent achievement.

JamesH avatar

Surely the mantra… “If the boards suck, they won’t get paid” would be appropriate here?

Are you saying the ALL contract manufacture in China is like that? It’s a very big place, and many millions of PCBS are made there without issue. iPhones, iPads for two.

Howard Long avatar

Hello James

What I’m saying is that dealing with the far east is not like dealing with someone down the road. This is why there are still UK assemblers about. There is a different culture to deal with.

If your boards turn out to be less than perfect, then sure, you can reject them, but at what cost? Not only are you back to square one, but I would also anticipate that you are financially out of pocket too, not to mention the reputational damage due to the delay.

As an example, I was offered £50 off my next order as a sweetener that they had used rubbish parts and a 40% failure rate. Hardly recompense for the cost to me both in up front cost and additional work to rework the failed units.

That is why I so strongly recommend having someone on the ground checking what’s going on.

I remember this time last year on my project scratching my head wondering how on earth I could deal with the situation. Two failed assemblers, and was back to square one. The straw that really broke the calls back was the Chinese New Year that added a further two weeks’ delay to any further order. I had quit work to make this happen, and invested many thousand of pounds of my own money into the project, and no cash flow for the foreseeable future.

You may well have better luck than I did, and I sincerely hope that you do. It’s possible to make it work, but caveat emptor!

Cheers, Howard

Cheers, Howard

Dude avatar

Congratulations! Please let us know in near or far future where we can purchase Raspberry Pi from North America.

[…] buying a computer? The computer’s probably cheaper. In a joyful moment for the the charity, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that as of “a couple of days” before January 10th, production has begun on their $35 Linux […]

Jens Krahe avatar

Get Veture Capital in Britain and build your own factories. This product will be a hit at least. Be a platform provider, so that other companies build on this product. The mission would be to provide schools for free with your computer.

Alex avatar

I’ll be having one of these to play with, once they are available. and I’m looking forward to it.

I read with absolute dismay, of the situation regarding Manufacture in the UK.

It is nothing short of scandelous, that this situation has developed in the UK.
It would take a second term of tory leadership to be able to overturn all the stupid things our previous governmend did, some of which bordered on being criminally irresponsible.

[…] Raspberry Pi […]

BlueClogger avatar


Check out the links at the bottom of the page. They’re going to have to shut themselves down! (Hopefully the same will apply to RIAA etc…)

Mike avatar

I want to place a preorder! GAAAH :) Best of luck my friends.

Devosa Ivan avatar

Dear Developpers,

As a university lecturer I’m really glad about your plan :)
If I may suggest an idea about manufacturing, European Union could be a better solution then China or Taiwan…
– the Eastern part of EU (Hungary, Poland etc…) is much cheaper then the Western part
– the quality of manufacturing is the EU standard (including guarantees). I’m living in Hungary, and if you check the “economical portfolio” of the country you will see that a lot of companies moved one ore more factories to there (some of them: IBM, Mercdes, Audi, Suzuki etc…)
– you stay inside the EU, so you support the community including GB
– cheaper duty inside EU
– you can move your busines completly back to GB, or partly: eg. half of your business remains in the EU country, half moves to GB.

Anyhow you decide I wish you good luck to your business :)

Donovan Garnett avatar

Although I respect and understand the decisions made, I strongly disagree with the choice to make the Pi’s in China and Taiwan. For one they will almost certainly be poorer quality and more likely to give problems. For another, I cannot understand the rationale that manufacturing overseas cheaply increases the profit margin with which to do more charity. I thought your main objective was to provide a platform on which a new generation of programmers can get an early start, even if they have a low budget.

If the Pi’s end up being unreliable due to manufacturing shortcuts, this will probably be a big wet blanket for everyone who invests time and energy using them to teach kids with.

You may be surprised at how many people would be willing to pay a bit more for a product that has been made entirely in the UK. Perhaps our demand could match the output of those smaller companies able to offer decent prices.

I hope that you are eventually able to establish a parallel production line for those of us who want to support UK workers and companies.

JamesH avatar

This have been covered in quite a few posts already.

1) Lots of good quality stuff comes out of China and Taiwan. For example, TMSC in Taiwan make a huge number of chips for almost every product you can think of. iPad/iPhones are made in CHina, very high quality.
2) Manufacturing overseas meant we could hit the 25/35 price we have been advertising for 9 months. It doesn’t increase the profit margin. Originally we could do this manufacturing in the UK, something happened to prevent this.
3) I wouldn’t be surprised how FEW people would pay extra for exactly the same product – IMO certainly not enough would pay the higher price to make a production run worthwhile. And remember this product is sold worldwide. The UK is just a small market compared to the RoW.
4) The test board back so far seems fine (so I have heard)
5) We continually monitor this stuff, so if we can bring manufacture back, we will.

Donovan Garnett avatar

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Concerning point 2.) about profit margins, the original post by Liz, states :
“When you’re talking about tens of thousands of units per batch, losing that sum of money for the charity – a sum that we can spend on more manufacture, more outreach work and more research and development…” which suggests that profit destined for those goals is seen as more important than manufacturing in the UK.

Concerning point 3, only time will tell. Making the whole project vulnerable to the goodwill of manufacturers in China is a big gamble.

I sincerely hope all of this enthusiasm on our part and hard work on yours does not just end in us all learning what % of defective units it takes to ruin a wonderful initiative.

You do make an interesting point about how few people would actually pay a higher price for “exactly” the same product.

Of course there are many voices here, and it would be interesting if we could find a practical platform for us to put our money where our mouths are and pay our deposits to preorder units made in the UK, or at least in the EU, refundable if we fail to reach critical mass.

Perhaps there is an escrow company that could handle the transactions. I for one would prefer to pay $40 or $50 for a UK or EU made board rather than risk wasting the difference on shipping defective units back and forth.

Daveypoos avatar

I was originally going to post some flippant remarks that although some would have seen as being a joke as they would be intended others would see as trolling.

The manufacturing issue is obviously high on many people’s agenda, and then I thought if Raspberry Pi is an educational project then why not make the manufacturing issue an educational exercise. There have been posts from others who have been through the process and shared their experience, but if the Raspberry Pi is to deliver a new generation of computer professionals then surely it would be beneficial for them to have seen how to source production of hardware. How better to have the skills in place rather than to learn the hard way.

I must say that some of the posts are naive in believing the choices are simple or the location of a company would immediately make it either unreliable or exploitative. Even the ethnicity of the poster is irrelevant as in the work place workers are often be exploited by people from their own culture, although eventually it does rest with the purchaser.

I would also say that I am sure you could find many good companies in China that would be preferable to deal with than the worse in Europe or the U.K.

The challenge is how to ensure the workers at any company you are dealing with are treated with respect, fairly paid and the manufacturing is to standard and does not break laws regarding safety and the environment.

Even Raspberry Pi as a charitable foundation should not be hidden from the searchlight. I once spoke to someone prior to boarding a flight, they were working for a charity trying to support some very impoverished people, I work for a successful profitable company. We boarded the flight; they went to the first class cabin whilst I went to the economy.

When I see advertisements on the television asking me to give £2 a month I sometimes check the charity’s accounts at the charities commission website and find how many people are being paid over £100,000, so would my £2 really make a difference?

So rather than congratulating the idea of using children to assemble boards as their little fingers are better suited to such jobs, or avoiding costly pension liabilities by getting the workers to jump of the roof, I would ask you to set up a separate area on business ethics so future bosses can learn that the cheapest price is sometimes more costly, and ethics in company contracts can benefit overall costs quality and profit.

[…] GNU/Linux box for $25January 16, 2012 by Editor(Credit: Raspberry Pi)Raspberry Pi, a $25 computer, has gone into production, with the first units rolling off the assembly line at the end of January.The Raspberry Pi is a ARM […]

[…] planning to order a Raspberry PI, when they go on sale, but the latest update from the team producing the cheap hobbyist computer should be required reading for UK politicians […]