Reports: First Raspberry Pi Devices Sell Out Nearly Instantly
As Susan reported, on Wednesday the diminutive $25 computer dubbed Raspberry Pi became available for purchase in its first incarnation, and now reports are emerging that it sold out in mere seconds. According to The Register, distributor Premier Farnell reported that an initial batch of 10,000 ARM-based devices sold out in seconds. There were reportedly 600 orders, visits and pre-orders, and co-distributor RS Components also received a large block of orders. There are several reasons why these devices are doing well, and one of the biggest reasons is that they were marketed in an effective, grassroots way.
If you're a fan of Linux and you're also interested in how low prices can go for a reasonably high-powered computer, you've probably been following the Raspberry Pi story. Among other uses for it, Raspberry Pi may fill the gap that One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) couldn't quite fill, bringing computing to parts of the world where it has traditionally been unaffordable. It may fill that role because despite the fact that the OLPC team initially promised devices that would arrive for under $100, the prices ended up significantly higher.
The Raspberry Pi team has promised $25 and $35 versions of its devices (a sample motherboard is seen above and the final devices are between the size of a USB stick and normal wallet), and has found a way to meet that goal. A standard Raspberry Pi device comes with a 700MHz ARM11, 256 MB RAM, SD card slot, Ethernet port, 2 USB ports, and an an HDMI connector. Developers and tinkerers are putting numerous Linux distros on the devices, including Fedora, Debian and Arch Linux.
You can follow the Raspberry Pi story on Twitter and at the main web site, where Raspberry Pi has been very effectively positioned and marketed. The web site created a groundswell of interest in the devices.
Company officials have already apologized online for the fact that there have been traffic and ordering pile-ups. The Raspberry Pi team is aiming to serve up its next batch of devices within weeks, but it's good to see this experiment being welcomed right out of the gate.