And breathe…

Well, that was an incredible week.

For those of you just joining us, we have entered into licensed manufacture partnerships with two British companies, Premier Farnell and RS Components. They’ll be manufacturing and distributing the devices on our behalf, and handling the distribution of our first batches as they arrive in the country. We continue to make a small profit from each Raspberry Pi sold, which we’ll be putting straight back into the charity.

This arrangement means that we can build volume much faster than would have been possible on our own. We are no longer limited to batches of only 10k Raspberry Pis; the Raspberry Pi will now be built to match demand. Both partners have worldwide distribution networks, so wherever you are in the world, you will be able to buy from a local distributor. This will save you money on shipping, and both partners are taking preorders, or expressions of interest, for the Model B from the start. There has inevitably been some confusion around pricing and parts of the ordering process; within a few days, we hope to have a country-by-country summary of each partner’s policies, showing how the $35 price of a Model B translates into a final cost. In the meantime, feel free to share your experiences either here or in the forum.

We’ve also announced a doubling of the Model A RAM capacity to 256MB; these devices should be available to pre-order shortly.

Finally, an apology – not everyone on our mailing list received a notification of our impending launch, as it now takes about a week to mail personalized messages to each of our 100,000 subscribers. Given the large volumes our partners are able to produce, the penalty for being further back in the queue is much smaller than it would have been had we been the only manufacturer; if you place an order, we’ll do our best to make sure you’re not waiting too long.