TheGuyUk wrote:Hello I am new to this forum and Raspberry Pi's in general.
As to the conversatition here about Pi Zero production rates I suggest letting those who are doing it handle it. The posited suggested model of ramping up production is flawed, to simplistic and not like for like comparison. It has no tooling, storage, or financing costs factored in to start with.
This is hardly the first time that a Raspberry Pi model has been in short supply, particularly soon after launch. The whole Pi phenomenon is unprecedented in the SBC market. Prior to the Pi, if you had publicly stated that someone could sell 8 million small, cheap SBCs in 4 years, the best you could have hoped for would have been to be laughed at. The worst would have been a visit from some guys with a very long sleeved white coat to take you gently away to a home for the bewildered. Such a claim wouldn't have been credible in any way, shape or form.
Now, of course, the issue would be, "How can enough Pis be made to satisfy demand when no one knows how high that demand may be?" If you look at a graph of sales over time, you won't find a "roll off" of the curve that indicates demand leveling off and only selling to people new to the product or needing replacement units (that is, "market saturation", or--as I call it--a "steady state situation"). When you consider that the main, intended market: education, has barely started to use Pis in any volume, the potential "up side" is very, very large. The potential is not for tens of millions over a period of years, but possibly as much as hundreds of millions per year.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a prototyping or one off product board by design. Anyone wanting a minimal computer to access the internet could easily purchase a Android TV box or dongle, use a library computer (while waiting if in the UK).
I am not convinced that the RPF had any particular use in mind for the Pi0. It is a "computer for $5" and that may be an end in itself (from the RPF perspective). The community will find uses for Pi0s. Potentially, a lot of uses. I don't think *anyone* knows what those uses are yet because there simply aren't enough Pi0s in circulation for people to discover very many uses....yet. Now, clearly, the Pi0 will have applications where space and/or power are restrictive limitations.
As for prototyping, like beginners, the Pi0 is not a good choice unless that person using it has pretty wide experience with SBCs or--at least--MCUs. The difference between a TV dongle and *any* Pi is that the Pi gives you access to both the hardware and the software. It is not a "black box". See Eben's remarks about "the tablet trap" for why this matters. The whole point of the educational uses of the Pi, going back to the original concept that led to it, was open hardware and open access to software. The secondary concern was "cheap enough to break without concern". Even a Pi2B is pretty good on that second point (unless you are so poor that you're wondering where your next meal is coming from), and the Pi0 is truly outstanding on the second point...or will be once the imbalance between supply and demand evens out to the point that you can order a fistful of Pi0s pretty much any time you want and get them delivered in less than a week.
The Pi's will be ready when they are baked no matter how much you stare at the oven door! So relax a little fokes
While that is obviously true (and some folks here are less antsy than others about it), the question that people are asking is, "What does the timer on the oven say?"