fergus
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:26 am

Despite passing certification etc, and Farnell / RS cranking up the production, I've heard nothing about when the model A might be coming to us.

I've taken a look through the FAQ, done a search on here, and haven't found anything up-to-date and relevant.

Does anybody know?

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:40 am

I can't remember where I saw this, probably on the main (home) page of the blog.

In reply to the same question as you are asking Eben said production of model A will not start until nearer the Autumn.  The intention was/is to get the B's out to people so they can start to develop for them so that programmes will be ready for use in schools for the new term.  Model A's will not be needed by schools / educational establishments until the new term anyway.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:09 pm

Because of the nature of the demand for the RasPi, I believe the Foundation took the view that very few would want the Model A and so took the decision to make the first batch all Model B.   Its probable that Farnell and RS will continue to only make Model Bs until the backlog is removed, then make some Model As in preparation for the general release.  The manufacturing split thereafter will then depend on demand for each model.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:28 pm

Why would you WANT a model A?

Some people are paying $150 to get their hands on a 'pi now instead of later.

So if you really want a model A, you'll have to pay about $10 extra for now, to be able to get it  a few months earlier.

(There is one thing that is a lot easier on a model A than on a model B. That is to start working on the device-mode USB stuff.... On a model A you just need an "illegal" A-A cable, while on a model B you'll have to make your own connector and patch a couple of wires from terribly small SMD pads.... )
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:53 pm

There was also a post by Liz within the last 2 weeks somewhere on here where she stated that they DID do a small 10-20 board test run of Model A's and there was some sort of problem with the USB on them, that they're trying to track down.

The real push was to get the Model B's out the door since it's what most people were interested in. Now that that's out of the way and largely in Farnell+RS's hands, the RPF can try to work out the issue with the A's and those will probably go into production once the huge backlog of B's has started to clear. Gotta remember, they're made on the same assembly line, 99% same parts.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:53 pm

rew said:


Why would you WANT a model A?

Some people are paying $150 to get their hands on a 'pi now instead of later.

So if you really want a model A, you'll have to pay about $10 extra for now, to be able to get it  a few months earlier.

(There is one thing that is a lot easier on a model A than on a model B. That is to start working on the device-mode USB stuff.... On a model A you just need an "illegal" A-A cable, while on a model B you'll have to make your own connector and patch a couple of wires from terribly small SMD pads.... )


There are quite a few applications that suit a Model A better. I guess people with those applications want Model A's!

That said, they are not yet over the horizon. Too many B's to sort out.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:10 pm

When you want to use a wireless network, why would you want a model B?

You'll need an external usb hub to connect the wireless dongle, keyboard and mouse (or you won't need the second usb-port when you're not attaching a keyboard and mouse) so why pay $10 more for 2 ports you don't need.

I guess that when you want to use the device mode usb stuff you could just break the extra chip of the board (if I understand the scematics correctly), but that's not a pretty solution at all.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:17 pm

Model A works out much cheaper than the model B for many, because it doesn"t trigger some sort of import tax. That, plus the NEWLY-EQUAL RAM makes it a far better choice for me...
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:27 pm

What are those import tax implications? Could make a big difference in developing countries...

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:43 pm

I think the model A has a useful place. I'm interested in this project (apart from anything else) because of its push in the direction of commodity computing for all: a board so cheap anybody (well, more people) can buy one / step on one / replace one / buy two.

If you're buying a few, the $25 vs $35 (plus taxes) is a significant win, for essentially the loss of the ethernet port. If you were planning on using WiFi anyway (most people?) there's little difference.

Obviously, I don't expect this to be happening as quickly as if I ordered a model B right now.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:14 pm

Model A? Its gone!

Reason:

1) 128 MB was not enough so 256 MB now -> cost increased

2) Model A was to have the official price of 25 $.

3) Its more economic to have just one model.

4) 35 $ is still cheap enough.

I think the next R-Pi (end of 2013) will be a better one:

1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, no composite, maybe Wifi and 2x USB (real, no hub).

Price : 40 $

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Model A has *not* gone, Lacto. Both companies have signed contracts with us that say it will be manufactured, and it will be sold for $25, but we've agreed with them that for now, while the demand for Model B is so unmanageably huge, they can just make those while they're dealing with their backlogs. Model A will be available in time for the next academic year (sooner, we hope, but that's the hard cutoff point).
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:02 pm

Roll on model A!
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:46 pm

liz said:


Model A has *not* gone, Lacto. Both companies have signed contracts with us that say it will be manufactured, and it will be sold for $25, but we've agreed with them that for now, while the demand for Model B is so unmanageably huge, they can just make those while they're dealing with their backlogs. Model A will be available in time for the next academic year (sooner, we hope, but that's the hard cutoff point).



Thanks for the update Liz.

Some people have mentioned import tax being avoided - was this a consideration in setting the price or just a useful side effect?

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:40 am

Just a useful side effect!
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 4:25 pm

I expect many people to buy the model B because they simply just can't buy a model A. You can't state that the demand for the model B, in contrast to the model A, is high when there is no model A on sale.

You're basically saying: You can buy a model B now go or stand at the back of the line and wait for a model A. No wonder there is no demand for the model A this way.

And every person who buys a B because there is no A yet, adds to the wait for the model A.

Waiting for the demand for the model B (== the only Raspberry Pi) to subside before starting with the model A is futile. Pushing a model B to everybody who want's any Pi and thus flooding the market with B's. What chances does the A have when there are already 350.000 B's out there and demand for the Raspberry Pi (as a whole) has subsided? The A will have fewer features, a lower price, but will also get less support. Who came up with the idea to introduce a downgrade after flooding the market?

The model A seems to me to become the Raspberry Pi for those who really couldn't afford to spend $10 extra and had no choice but to wait untill everybody else had their Pi.

At least you could allow preorders to get an insight in how high the demand for the A is and to stop producing B's for people who much rather have an A. The orders for the model B were allowed to continue up to 350.000 while there were only 10.000 available, that never stopped anybody (The demand for the raspberry pi was underestimated before, I believe? )

It feels like you don't seriously want the model A, but just use it to fullfill the $25 promise and be able to say "we built it, there just wasn't any demand for it".

I think the text "An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!" is becoming more and more ironic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, but the model A... it just doen't feel like something the foundation really wants.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 4:34 pm

On the contrary, it's believed that the Model A is essential for the educational market, which can save $10 a time because they don't really need ethernet.

However, the orders currently on the books are all for Model B's, so they really do need to be filled first. How annoyed would people on the waiting list be if they discovered that a big batch of A's was built (to as yet unknown deland) and that delayed their B's? There isn't any point in making lots of Model A's until the B demand dies down a bit. Some have actually been made I believe, for testing purposes, if you need evidence that they haven't been forgotten.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 4:40 pm

rew said:


Why would you WANT a model A?


I've had issues with the SMSC USB hub with ethernet chip in the past and two USB ports really isn't enough IMO. So if the A was available I would be very tempted to get a model A and pair it up with one of the USB hubs with ethernet that farnell sell (which as a bonus comes with a PSU that I hope can power both Pi and hub)

redman684 said:


The A will have fewer features, a lower price, but will also get less support.


Thankfully the foundation dropped the idea of having different ammounts of ram on the A and B. So really the only difference between the two is the presense or absense of the USB hub with ethernet chip. I wouldn't imagine that will make a great deal of difference from a support perspective.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 4:55 pm

I don't see why you can't accept the Foundation at their word on this. The Foundation's reason for existing is to support Education, and the product targeted at that market is the "A" in a case. It is not out yet, it is not due out yet, and you will know when it is available.

The model "B" was targeted at early adopters and enthusiasts. You only need to look at the posts in this forum to know how much better the educational product will be thanks to all the early adopters.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 5:55 pm

plugwash said:


Thankfully the foundation dropped the idea of having different ammounts of ram on the A and B. So really the only difference between the two is the presense or absense of the USB hub with ethernet chip. I wouldn't imagine that will make a great deal of difference from a support perspective.


Indeed - very little support difference between the two devices on the whole. The USB controller is different of course, so that is the only real difference - ethernet stuff will auto detect it's not there and just not get in the way.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 7:11 pm

The big difference in demand between the A and B models was based mostly on the RAM difference. If model A had been available for pre-order on launch day, and everyone knew about the upgrade, IMHO, the demand would have been much more equally split...

Can we officially register interest in the model A anywhere yet?
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 7:33 pm

IIRC, there was a report from the Foundation that an issue was found on a pre-production A board that won't be addressed until production of A boards in volume is needed (expected primarily for the educational market).  When both A and B boards are proven to be bulletproof in their volume production, the OS ports are relatively stable, and enough useful and eye-popping application software is available (beyond what already exists on other platforms), it is entirely conceivable that demand could swell into the millions just for the education market.

Tens of millions worldwide is even well within the realm of reality.  The low power requirements and price of the Pi makes it attractive to the underdeveloped world, particularly where electrical power comes from sources such as solar, wind, etc., and not just for education.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 01, 2012 11:42 pm

JamesH said:


On the contrary, it's believed that the Model A is essential for the educational market, which can save $10 a time because they don't really need ethernet.


But wouldn't they have a need for the two USB ports for keyboard + mouse?

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 02, 2012 8:20 am

I have uses for Model A's

and I can use a HUB to provide keyboard, mouse, wireless ethernet , wired ethernet or whatever
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 02, 2012 8:59 am

Jim Manley said:


The low power requirements and price of the Pi makes it attractive to the underdeveloped world, particularly where electrical power comes from sources such as solar, wind, etc., and not just for education.


I could understand that if the Raspberry Pi worked as a standalone device for its prime purpose, but low power requirements are immediately nullified by the need to add a display.

OK for headless applications though.

In 2012, networking is as much a feature of computing as any other and really ought to be included in any syllabus.

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