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Raspberry Pi Shortage 2022 - Supply Chain, Shortages, Price Hikes

 Despite Raspberry Pi's guarantees, supply levels of the popular single-board computers have run out, and resellers are profiting.

As the Raspberry Pi single-board computer family celebrates its tenth anniversary, the $35 goal price range appears to be in jeopardy, with some merchants marking components up to twice their regular selling price due to supply shortages.

Raspberry Pi Shortage 2022 - Supply Chain, Shortages, Price Hikes
image credit - techcrunch

On the 29th of February 2012, the initial Raspberry Pi Model B single-board computer, with its single-core CPU, 256MB of RAM, and a 26-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) interface, went on sale – and quickly sold out, causing some resellers' websites to fail. Numerous updates to the current Raspberry Pi 4 with quad-core CPU and up to 8GB of RAM have further enhanced its appeal in the years afterwards — especially given the entry point for the full-size devices has stayed around $35 for the past decade.

However, the semiconductor and larger electronics industries' persistent supply chain challenges have made maintaining that pricing point difficult. Late last year, Raspberry Pi announced its first-ever price increase when it increased the price of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB from $35 to $45 — a year and a half after it was reduced to $35 to replace the 1GB model as the family's entry-level model.

Despite Raspberry Pi's guarantees, consumers have finding the Raspberry Pi 4 series to be increasingly difficult to come by – and at far higher retail costs than planned. Flüpke, a self-described hacker, brought attention to the problem earlier this week with a tweet displaying the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB for €119.95 (about $136), more than triple its lowest price in the previous year.

Price checker CamelCamelCamel's data backs up Flüpke's findings: The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB, which had a $35 RRP before being raised to $45, hit a third-party reseller high of $159.99 in January this year before dropping back to a still-high $118.98; the 4GB model, with a $55 RRP, hit a high of $219.96 in early February before dropping to its current $154.99 — nearly three times RRP. Meanwhile, the top-end 8GB model has dropped from $75 to $209, after reaching a high of $290.74 a few weeks ago.

Official Raspberry Pi Reseller supplies, where prices aren't normally raised in the face of supply restrictions, are scarce: All Raspberry Pi 4 versions are out of supply at Adafruit, while Pimoroni is out of stock in the UK. Meanwhile, Avnet's Newark website lists all models as back-ordered, and informs potential buyers that the supply lead time has been stretched all the way out to April 2023.

Eben Upton of Raspberry Pi said four months ago that "we expect to have enough 28nm silicon over the next twelve months to support both our existing Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 customers," and that "we see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease" — but stock shortages appear to be worsening before they improve.

Source: Raspberry Pi

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