PiZero – WTH!
It is a small (half the size of an A+, 1/3 size of a B), no Ethernet port and just 1 usable USB port (micro sized) but more significantly – no GPIO connector (but you can solder one on)
So, on the surface – a great device intended for geeks who already have a big Pi but can use these as a cheap deployment devices as long as they can solder.
At $5, it beggars belief that there is any more than $1 profit in it for Raspberry Pi, so they are going to have to sell a LOT of them to increase their revenue stream. And since a lot of geeks will no longer buy the more expensive versions – it must hit the income stream from the A/B range.
Worse than that, the retailers who choose to stock it can only be making $1 from it and will also lose out on A/B sales.
With the $5 headline price, people will expect the add-ons for it to be similarly cheap (whether they get that or not remains to be seen) so that tightens the margins all round.
Why did Raspberry Pi make it and why set price so low?
The main thing that springs to mind is that it was a reaction to the $9 C.H.I.P Kickstarter and that Raspberry Pi wanted to continue to be “THE” low-cost SBC people and therefore wipe out any opposition (They have a track record over past few years of improving the models when someone comes along and tries to sell a competing product/package)
Another is that they thought to just make a few 1000 as a promo item and have decided to make a few more now.
Possibly also a reaction to Codebug/Crumble/Microbit but thats lesss of a probability.
We’ll never know because Raspberry Pi make Apple seem like the most open-source company on the planet! 🙂
As we all know, just like Tony Blair, the public face that Raspberry Pi present is “Education- Education – Education”.
Its hard to see the educational value of this board – its not a thing for learning on – its a thing for doing with once you’ve learnt
Having said that, if someone manages to get the PiZero to be programmable over USB (and I’m very hopeful that this will happen in next month) – then it will just become the most fantastic VFM educational board as it will be able to be plugged direct into laptops and possibly even phones and tablets and it will become the one board to rule them all in the education field.
There is none if Raspberry Pi ramp up production – even if they need to raise price a few dollars to make it profitable for them or retailers – that would still be OK.
What would be bad, is if they continue to limit production to a few thousand each week and continue to only allow their retailing friends to sell it one at a time for 2 hours once a fortnight 🙁
As we all know, Raspberry Pi is VERY receptive to suggestions, especially from myself, so I’d like them to take on board the following PiZero enhancements
- make a version with GPIO connector already soldered on for $2 more.