webmasterpdx
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:54 pm

Hi all, I'm an Engineer with 30 years experience (hardware and software). I see a lot of commotion being made over education, and I do understand that this was the goal of the whole project in the first place. I think that is wonderful, but the Raspberry Pi has far further reaching significance. Because of the selflessness of the foundation, a wonderful thing is about to happen. The only reason the selling price of these boards is going to be $35 apiece is because of the non-profit nature of this project.

However, I believe it may translate and force competitiveness to bring the price of SBC's down as well as laptops, tablets, etc, down. The result is that certain non-cost effective applications will now become cost effective.

There are literally millions of products based on a small SBC, whether custom or bought, it usually costs around $100-$150 to get a linux capable SBC. The raspberry pi brings this to $35 (I'm choosing the B product as this is the one with networking and multiple USB).

I'm hoping the foundation doesn't close it's doors to orders from businesses, as this could truely revolutionize the planet.

I hope that the foundation realizes that once they remove the single order limit, they might get orders of the sizes of 4000 boards per month from many companies, to embed the raspberry pi inside other products.

They also have inspired other products like the Cotton Candy, Rhombus (using the allwinner) and lowered the prices of products like the Roku to $50.

I think I can say that the Raspberry pi will be as influential as the PC was to ubiquitous computing and will be a part of history making.

I guess what I'm saying is that while the foundation is focusing on education, this product is going to hit everywhere. I'm talking millions of boards per month. Every school in the world potentially ordering 1000 boards per year. Same with universities. Same with companies, hobbiests, hackers, inventors, etc, etc, etc....

I just hope that the foundation doesn't limit it when they see how big it is, as it is worthy to let everyone have access to this technology for the price. Fortunately, these kinds of volumes should give the foundation leverage to lower their costs and make some profit to make supporting all these people worthwhile.

Yes, there will be other products like this, but you are the first, and thus will be remembered as such.

It is impossible to tell how far reaching the impact of this product is going to be. I'm sure that Tim Berners-Lee didn't see how far reaching his invention (the WWW) was going to be. Thus it is here. Prepare for Knighthood if you can pull this off (and I think you will).

Good luck, and get those boards out for sale

Thanks for this product. It was needed.

-Donald

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liz
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:05 am

Don't worry - we *have* thought about business applications, and we've made it very clear that we actively encourage people to use the Raspberry Pi in their own enterprises. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: we're doing this because we believe entrepreneurship makes the world spin. We're doing a lot of work in this week before launch to make sure that you and other businesses will be able to buy in bulk as soon as is humanly possible. We don't want to limit the reach of the Raspberry Pi to education (although that will always remain our primary goal - it has to, if we're going to support the entrepreneurs who are going to be emerging in the next 5-10 years - and it's education that we will be looking to help with training and subsidies).

Thank you for the kind words; and given that you are in Portland, please drop in to Tanuki for me, drink a ton of sake, eat a ton of tsunamimono, say hi to Janis and tell her I am doing my very best to come back and see her as soon as I can!
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JJD
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:47 am

Ditto webmasterpdx. It would be beautiful. That, and I'd love to see a particular fruit named company brought down a few notches by some berries. I've tired of their 'Ivory Tower' mentality and more years ago. 

poplap
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:08 am

Good words webmasterpdx, i could not agree more.

Hell companies could replace all there terminal computer with a RPi

It could also be a great first computer for young kids, i mean $25 or $35 is not much if it gets spilled on.

JJD nice comment

RPi Revolution!

webmasterpdx
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:17 am

Entrepreneurship is what makes the world go around, but occasionally, a bit of inventiveness and creative marketing (non-profit to make it happen for the price), and the right timing (with the phone and tablet markets, the CPU/GPU prices have really dropped). So, this is the right product for the right time to really shake up the industry. My area is embedded mostly (I just happen to be working on an ARM based design at the moment), and I've been looking for a low cost SBC that can support Linux for some hobby work (but the priceline is all around $100) .....until now that is.

I really think knocking the full featured embedded PC price down from $150 to $35 is going to have a huge influence on the embedded world.

I also have worked in the TV and cable industry (flat panel chips and OCAP stack respectively). With products like Roku on the market, I believe that these can all be replaced by a raspberry pi, so get a pi, hook it to your TV and you have internet television at it's best. Everyone knows the entire TV industry is going to the internet eventually. It's just a matter of time. This could be the product to push that event over the cliff as it were.

There are so many other areas where the impact could be revolutionary. I'm very excited to see what will happen.

Good Luck

-D

timgiles
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:10 am

webmasterpdx,

I am sure you are right, as so many have written, the first 10k will be gone extremely quickly. But I cant help but feel that I have to question your numbers slightly. I can agree that the RPi is going to shake up the market, but is it also fair to point out that the 35 dollar figure you quote, at the very least, requires maybe upping to 50 dollars (PSU, card, case) and then the normal shipping/postage on top of that.

Very excited as well, really hoping that the RPi foundation can be supported financially once the success of this 1st batch is complete and we find larger, longer term plans being stated that individuals and companies, educational establishments, can work with.

Would be kinda fun to have a thread where we predict total RPi sales in the first 12 months!



spurious
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:33 am

Timothy Giles said:


Would be kinda fun to have a thread where we predict total RPi sales in the first 12 months!


Soooo difficult to predict..

10,000 - 1st batch - any day

(no idea of ramp-up scale)? - 2nd batch - (no idea of batch turnaround times.. 'cos we dont know when it's ordered)?

I think the foundation will sell them as fast as they produce them, but they have limited capital, have to reserve production time at assembly factories, have to order all the parts in a just-in-time fashion to keep costs down.. all this and we as consumers only have a small insight to the details.. I think it would be near impossible for the people in the know on the foundations predictions and agreements with suppliers.

but hey.. why not ... it could be interesting to see the figures against the actuals next year!  :)

prodata
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:05 am

webmasterpdx: Must say that I agree with the gist of this. I do believe that - very worthy though it is - the educational angle will turn out to be a sideline. What seems much more significant to me is establishing a new low price-point (even if it turns out to be $49 or $59 for a commercial 'B' product) in a device accessible to the wider SME space for a modern, power-efficient computing tool with 1001 uses in embedded applications.

Maybe the commercial revenue will help power the educational objectives. It might have even more potential if there could be a derivative of the RPi that had a single, universal, multi-pin connector (and maybe no other connectors) such that it could just slot inside some parent case and provide all the necessary compute power for that parent device, whatever its intended function.

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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:20 am

It occurs to me that the Foundation's problem might be stepping out of the market at the right point. As soon as the demand makes it cost effective for the Chinese to step in, the cost may drop even further. The deal that the Foundation has cut with Broadcom, and the fact that they are making only about £5 profit per board makes that quite a high demand point, but if it happens they could be stuck with a million boards they can't sell. The trick would be to work with third-party suppliers to ensure compatibility, and shift into a support role in the right time-frame.

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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:21 am

Anythings possible under licence, people can build their own boards, and put it into all kinds of things - like tablets if its done under licence. (the foundation still gets paid off those devices).

i hope there may well also be 'boutique' style boards build under licence with really nice components, layouts, cases and other "captive" USB devices.

the foundations educational board will always be the reference, but beyond that anythings possible.
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Tass
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:29 am

spurious said:


Timothy Giles said:


Would be kinda fun to have a thread where we predict total RPi sales in the first 12 months!


but hey.. why not ... it could be interesting to see the figures against the actuals next year!  :)

And the person closest on day 365 wins a pi?!

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RaTTuS
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:52 am

120k
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

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pluggster
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:23 am

Month 1 – 10k

Month 2 – 20k

Month 3 – 40k

Month 4 – 80k

Month 5 – 160k

Month 6 – 320k

Month 7 – 640k

Month 8 – 1280k

Month 9 – 2560k

Month 10 – 5120k

Month 11 – 10240k

Month 12 – 20480k

20480k / 3.14159265 = 6518.9865K (my prediction)

edit: that ruddy delete button!

Pirx-Danford
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:26 am

rurwin said:


It occurs to me that the Foundation's problem might be stepping out of the market at the right point. As soon as the demand makes it cost effective for the Chinese to step in, the cost may drop even further. The deal that the Foundation has cut with Broadcom, and the fact that they are making only about £5 profit per board makes that quite a high demand point, but if it happens they could be stuck with a million boards they can't sell. The trick would be to work with third-party suppliers to ensure compatibility, and shift into a support role in the right time-frame.


Given that the hardware is just paving the way to further the foundations goals there will be multiple areas that all need a serious amount of money. There will be school books and other materials to be created. Specialized software, online and offline courses for teachers. International collaborations.

Point is that rather sooner than later the hardware production won't receive 100% of the profits. And when they get to the point of market saturation, probably it will already receive less than 50% of the profits.

So the concept of the foundation in itself already will provide the presence of good safety buffers

mjdon
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:31 am

I personally don't believe the RPi is going to completely change the computer market for two reason:

- What is expensive/hard to find, for a standard company, is someone who knows enough about linux to install and maintain the computers. So even if it's a great and cheap tool, and it could do everything most of people do with their computers, people won't change because "it's too complicated, blablabla". Otherwise, why linux is used only on about 1% of the desktops?

- Microsoft, Apple or Oracle are selling quite expensive stuff to people who could get nearly the same thing for free because they have great marketing skills and means. It's impossible to do the same for the RPi, so I think it won't spread as much as it could. Maybe it will expend later, when bigger companies will begin to clone the RPi, make it run out of the box and advertise it everywhere.

I still think that targeting the hackers community and education projects at first is very well spotted. So even if it stays quite small compared to what it could be usefull to, I expect a great success for the raspberry pi as most of the people do here and I'm looking forward to get one.

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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:01 am

@ mjdon,

I think you missed the point that the OP was making. The Raspberry Pi is not going to take over the desktops and server-farms. It does not have the power to do that.

What it might do is take a large share of the embedded device market. And that is a massive market.

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Burngate
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:06 am

My point of view: Wow !!! This is Great !!! It's gonna sell a Million !!!

Liz's point of view: my house is on the line. If it bombs, where do I pitch my tent?

Alchemy
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:14 am

Burngate said:


Liz's point of view: my house is on the line. If it bombs, where do I pitch my tent?


Make a house out of the million unsold RasPi and sell it to the Met Office. They want a new supercomputer.

More seriously hopefully they provide resources for entrepreneurs to order mass orders in  a more direct fashion.

jamesh
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:38 am

Burngate said:


My point of view: Wow !!! This is Great !!! It's gonna sell a Million !!!

Liz's point of view: my house is on the line. If it bombs, where do I pitch my tent?


Not outside St Pauls, that's for certain.
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:52 am

Rather than being the thing that changes the computer market, it's more of a sign that the market is due to change. People won't need an expensive programmer, a £2000 outlay on embedded dev software and years of studying EE to create new technologies for the home. Standard PC components, a free software OS and support for high level languages makes invention accessible to creative teenagers.

It ought to be relatively easy to create, say, a doorbell that takes someone's picture and/or allows them to leave a message, or an SD card copier, an iPhone backup device, home security system based on £3 webcams, home media player, gaming platform and so on. The convergence between the PC and embedded world opens up a huge number of possibilities.

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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:07 pm

Beyond all that, it (re-)introduces a whole generation to the concept of resource-efficiency and programming to the capabilities of the hardware.

webmasterpdx
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:40 pm

A lot of interesting reactions to my comments.

1. I really don't think that anyone has to worry about unsold Pi's. They will sell at that price point. The only way you'll be stuck with that many is if another product hits the market that is better for  a lower price. That is unlikely to happen in the first 12 months. However, as with anything, I hope it does as it means that the raspberry pi had the influence I'm hoping it will (to drive the prices down on Single Board Computers (SBC)).

2. Saying that it isn't going to replace the desktop, etc... I didn't say that, I was saying due to it's price it will drive down the price of desktops, etc... It will also influence the embedded market (more on that later).

3. Yes, a bunch of the profit will go towards books, etc, but they will generate profit too. (even if a small profit). Also, if the volumes go up like I believe they will, the costs will go down and the profit will go up.

4. I've looked into the Chinese manufacturing market, and it isn't that much cheaper when you are talking about prices this low. Maybe $5 less....which is pretty much insignificant.

OK, more on the embedded world (my area). What is really needed is a board that has a standard Linux (or can be run without an OS, just a state diagram)...many designs don't need the GPU, etc, etc..just a cheap board. So, a standard board with a standard fast bus to interface to I/O. Maybe 2 bytes of GPIO pins, 8 ADC in pins and 2 DAC outputs and 2 PWM outputs, along with USB OTG, Ethernet, etc, on the board. A cheap LCD interface would be nice too (for low end LCDs).

Generally whats happening is people are developing ARM based custom boards to do what they want. With the PI, they can get an already existing board with a standard I/O interface. If other less powerful, cheaper boards follow this same i/o, then all that companies have to do is design the I/O board (simpler and a lot cheaper), and buy the SBC off the shelf. Then they can leverage off the software already out there.

You want to build a device to monitor poewr? OK, You put a bunch of sensors in a row and feed them to a mux and amplification. You might need programmable bias from the I/O and to feed a single ADC input and hook up the mux selection to GPIO. Lo and behold you have your design....just hook that board up to the standard interface. Write your code for the pi to read the data and maybe present it as a web server or via a USB/ethernet to modbus interface for industrial control, and you are done. Much cheaper than doing it the more expensive way. Making the board small is very important for this reason.

So, I'd say the smaller the Pi is the better. Credit card is about the largest. The Cotton Candy is in the USB-key form factor, which is even better. However, the standard I/O is going to be difficult. I hope that a lot will be learned from the first version and this I/O bus will be standardized upon, if not in this release but in a future one.

This will make the Pi very attractive to form the "compute engine" side of many embedded designs with the only custom part being the sensor I/O. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the standard becomes whatever the Pi has coming out the door.

Will there be access to a system interface that allows access to the GPIO, etc,???? i.e. Directly from the board...some kind of bus. I know that someone has done a generic I/O board, but that would only be for prototyping, but people will want to do a custom board for industrial production. I'd hate for the only I/O to be through the USB bus. You'd want the bus to access the ADC inputs and DAC outputs and GPIO pins directly....makes the custom board much cheaper.

Thanks

-D

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piglet
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:01 pm

I'd like to see the gpio populated with a female header, so that whatever people want to design can interface to the board via a standard connector without any soldering.

wright
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Re: I think the market has been grossly underestimated....

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:32 pm

"I'm hoping the foundation doesn't close it's doors to orders from businesses, as this could truely revolutionize the planet."

i dont understand you at all.do you get the limit of rpi.

the why the rpi is so cheap is that its a learning tool made by a FoundatioN

what if the companys who sold the different parts so cheap to the foundation
says because of selling to companys who should pay full price for the parts is breach of contract .

im sure there are people ready to start a blackmarket if this done.$$$

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