The ARM based mini computer, Rasperry Pi, had already arrived to Europe and the United Kingdom quite some time ago. However, as of a few days ago North America has finally gained access to the Rasperry Pi A models, albeit very briefly.
Allied Electronics, a Texas based component supplier is the first company to market with the credit card sized $25 computer system running a Linux based operating system. The Rasperry Pi A model that is supplied is the cheaper and slightly cut down version of the Rasperry Pi B model. It loses LAN/ethernet functionality, uses half the power, has only one USB port and has half the amount of RAM with 256MB.
The new Rasperry Pi A sold out in well under a day and Allies Electronics blamed suppliers for the shortage. This is hardly surprising as everywhere the Rasperry Pi has launched, it has sold out very rapidly. In the UK it took many months after the launch before stocks were widely available to purchase on-demand not via pre-orders. You could easily blame suppliers for not meeting demand but generally speaking this isn’t really fair. The Rasperry Pi is unique in that it is met with stupidly high demand at launch which then rapidly drops off once initial demand is satisified after a few months of market presence, so scaling up production would be inefficient in the longer term and not financially viable for such a small company.
That said it is still exciting to see the USA finally get hold of the Rasperry Pi. If you live in the USA are you intending on buying one? Will you be pre-0rdering one? Were you lucky enough to get one from Allied Electronics? What are your thoughts on the lack of availability?