Joe Schmoe
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The eternal question: When are things going to be normal?

Sat May 19, 2012 10:43 am

That is, where you can just order the thing and get it delivered on a normal schedule.

I had been predicting the answer as "by late July/early August" - and lots of people here on the board thought I was being overly pessimistic. Now, unfortunately, that's beginning to look optimistic. Because I still see posts from people here saying things like "Oh, I ordered a month ago, and I'm getting emails from RS/Farnell/whoever that it should be coming in October"...

Or, as I suspect, is it the case that this will never really be normal - that even though the volume seems to be there, there's not quite the confidence on the parts of the big boys (RS/Farnell/whoever) that the interest will sustain over the long haul. That is, they just don't have the confidence necessary for them to crank up production to, say, iPhone levels. So, as a result, it will always be a "made to order" sort of thing.

Or am I being too pessimistic? (P.S. I know this sounds like troll, but I'm really curious about what those in the know have to say about this - and, of course, are willing and able to say in public)
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Spider.007
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 2:48 pm

I think currently the batches are sized around 40k RPi's every month. Since around 350 000 orders were placed you can guess it might take a while for things to get to 'normal'

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praest76
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 3:52 pm

There is a lot of hype around now and massive amounts of people wanting a slice of the Pi (pun intended), however when the vast majority of people who craved a piece of Pi (see previous pun) have had their fill (sorry) things should "normalize".
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Joe Schmoe
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 3:57 pm

praest76 wrote:There is a lot of hype around now and massive amounts of people wanting a slice of the Pi (pun intended), however when the vast majority of people who craved a piece of Pi (see previous pun) have had their fill (sorry) things should "normalize".
Understood. But we're still talking, realistically, about a year from now. Per Spider's post, about 9 months if there are no more orders at all.

Do people believe that the "steady state" demand will be about 40K/month?
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

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cheery
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 5:36 pm

I'm hopeful and expect they'll get sufficient supply during this year.

But bit of feeling there would be something wrong there.. What's preventing production of these things in such amounts that every order could be completed?

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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 5:53 pm

cheery wrote:I'm hopeful and expect they'll get sufficient supply during this year.
I hope you are right. But I don't share your optimism.
cheery wrote:But bit of feeling there would be something wrong there.. What's preventing production of these things in such amounts that every order could be completed?
Well, I think the problem is as I suggested in the OP: that the "big boys" don't really know what the "steady state" (that is, after the bubble has passed) demand will be. So, it (Raspberry Pi production) will likely remain "make to order" - for all of the forseeable future. Which is to say that, in my terminology, it will never be "normal".

Think of it this way: Suppose the 350K number is accurate, and suppose that there really are 350K people out there willing to plunk down their money today, for delivery in, say, 2 weeks (or less). Now suppose that RS/Farnell could magically make this happen - get the money and deliver those 350K units. Then what? What's the demand after that? Is it 40K/month? More? Much more? Less? Much less? Who can say?

That's the problem. And the point is, they can't do the gearing up necessary to produce 350K now, if the demand after that is going to go way down.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

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rurwin
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 6:31 pm

All that, and...

Once the one-per-person limit is relaxed, there is even less evidence for the level of demand. I expect to buy one and maybe one per year for personal projects. Schools will buy dozens at once. Companies using them for embedded control could buy dozens, hundreds or thousands.

Or eBay could glut with the number being resold. Even now the demand could crash.

However those in the know have stated that supply will be above 15,000 per week.

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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 6:42 pm

Not a particularly good choice for embedded control, unless you are including kiosks.

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Morgaine
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 7:46 pm

My guess is that the pent-up demand for Pi without considering schools is more like 2 million, mostly spread around tech-heads. I rather doubt that the "register your interest" numbers adequately reflect the demand at all, because it added too high a hurdle. Only the early adopter masochists blissfully scaled it. :P

It could quite easily be 10 million though, when you consider that it makes a nice little home media player very much like the Roku 2, with which it shares the same SoC. And Roku 2 has apparently sold more than 4 million units.

Of course, once the school year starts then the numbers will just go stratospheric, even without governmental purchase programmes to help.

If the popularity and demand do shoot up in the way that the Foundation is planning, RS and Farnell need to be making hundreds of thousands of boards per month if we're ever to see any boards in stock.

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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 7:52 pm

I think we'll see a load on eBay being sold by people whose expectations haven't been met.

Although I don't have one yet (next week say Farnell), I am bracing myself for a dreadfully slow desktop experience and not looking forward to it to be honest. I hope it will be fast enough, and I hope we see GPU accelerated desktops soon because otherwise the Pi will get a reputation as a sluggard.

Should the Pi attain that, you won't need a math professor to predict the future demand curve.

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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 8:57 pm

I agree with both of you (Jon and the response prior to his). That is, we just don't know what is going to happen - after the initial bubble. That is, it could be huge - or, it could blow up on the pad. And I think that's the problem that the "big boys" face.

A lot of it will depend on how well they finesse the two big issues:

1) Speed - Say what you will about the chances of making this better, but it really boils down to dialing back expectations - this is just not a cheap desktop (read: Windows) box.

2) The power problems - and the general instability that comes form using a crappy power supply. I seriously think (and always have) that a power supply should be included with the device.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 9:47 pm

I think at current (right now, it's considerably more than 40k/month) rates, the backlog should be cleared within 3-4 months. If larger quantities are needed, more plants can be brought online. Whoever said a year above is, I think, wrong.
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abishur
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sat May 19, 2012 10:41 pm

Topic moved to the Ordering and shipping subforum :-)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Spider.007
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Re: The eternal question: When are things going to be normal

Sun May 20, 2012 12:11 am

jamesh wrote:I think at current (right now, it's considerably more than 40k/month) rates, the backlog should be cleared within 3-4 months.
So you are saying currently 100.000 units are produced every month? Or is the 350k (backlog) incorrect?

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