Rubus
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:56 am

I have a concern about the price and the competition.

The Raspberry Pi looks to be a great device, and this is largely to do with the performance of the SoC and the price of the device (which I imagine is largely dependant on the price of the SoC).

If you're going to make and sell these in bulk, do you think that some of Broadcom's big customers will think that you're stepping on their toes? If this happens, they might express their concerns to Broadcom, and the price of the SoC might be increased. If the price of the SoC doubles, it might not just keep some geeks away, it might also scupper the main thrust of the project: to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

You might even have a guarantee for the SoC price, but if Broadcom have to choose between breaking a contract with a start-up, and losing an established customer to their competition, I suspect they would choose the latter. An alternative would be to restrict the performance of the device (e.g. resolution), or to prohibit certain features (e.g. HDMI), which wouldn't kill the project, but would turn off a lot of us geeks.

You could perhaps alleviate the potential problem by putting restrictions on who can buy the R-Pi, and in what quantity. What would you do if you got an BIG order from private individual? What would you do if a big customer of yours re-purposed the devices as HTPCs and sold them at a profit?

I'm really excited about the project. It's wonderful from a technical point-of-view, and an ethical point-of-view. It would be awful if it failed due to corporate politics.

Anyway, something to think about perhaps (or maybe you've done so already and found solutions?).

User avatar
crundy
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:47 am

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:59 am

I think the backlash on Broadcom for trying to push a charity out of business would be enormous. I doubt they'd be that dumb.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 25996
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:40 am

Although with big business (and politics) you cannot be sure of anything, Broadcom are supporting this project, right up the the CEO level. Broadcom do have a charitable wing as well (The Broadcom Foundation) , so it's not as if charity work is unknown to them.

I also think it's unlikely that the Raspi will step on any other customers toes. it would take a lot of work for someone to make a Raspi work like a Roku 2 for example, so you may as well just buy the Roku. Other areas, well, it's not going to push in to the mobile phone space, or the tablet space.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“My wife said to me `...you’re not even listening`.
I thought, that’s an odd way to start a conversation.."

ErvKosch
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:57 am

To go along with what @jamesh said this is a niche product. That like saying because because the Arduino is so popular that its components doubled in price. It just didn't happen. Also while the Ras-Pi is getting a lot of press now, after the first week there will be a huge drop off on orders.

Finally if there is a price increase I would see it more of a circumstance of global econmics and not internal politics at Broadcom. Remember:

The US is having gearing up for a presidential election
The Middle East is in political upheaval
[*]China is nearing an economic VERY similar tp the US's because of they way they've been inflating there currency (again like the US).

User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5212
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:12 am

I'd add to the global economics point the fact that silicon substrate prices aren't particularly stable. (I mentioned the impact the Japanese earthquake/tsunami earlier in the year had on silicon availability.)
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

User avatar
crundy
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:47 am

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:32 am

Quote from jamesh on September 6, 2011, 11:40
Other areas, well, it's not going to push in to the mobile phone space, or the tablet space.

Not until Apple's patents expire anyway...

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 25996
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:52 pm

Quote from crundy on September 6, 2011, 12:32
Quote from jamesh on September 6, 2011, 11:40
Other areas, well, it's not going to push in to the mobile phone space, or the tablet space.

Not until Apple's patents expire anyway...

Shame that Apple are relying on dodgy patents instead of their previous innovation to maintain sales....it's a sign they are worried so I don't think they have much new stuff in the pipeline - just old stuff rehashed. Hopefully Google and Nokia will start stomping around some of their patents and show how ludicrous the whole system is.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“My wife said to me `...you’re not even listening`.
I thought, that’s an odd way to start a conversation.."

Rubus
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:19 pm

Quote from jamesh on September 6, 2011, 13:52
Quote from crundy on September 6, 2011, 12:32
Quote from jamesh on September 6, 2011, 11:40
Other areas, well, it's not going to push in to the mobile phone space, or the tablet space.

Not until Apple's patents expire anyway...

Shame that Apple are relying on dodgy patents instead of their previous innovation to maintain sales....it's a sign they are worried so I don't think they have much new stuff in the pipeline - just old stuff rehashed. Hopefully Google and Nokia will start stomping around some of their patents and show how ludicrous the whole system is.

Alas, it's how corporations work. Shareholders demand profit at almost any cost. If a corporation wasn't using its patent portfolio to its full advantage, the board's ability would be under question.

And you've got to remember that the vast majority of the public (and therefore potential customers) don't know about these machinations or don't care.

:?

Svartalf
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:15 pm

Quote from liz on September 6, 2011, 12:12
I'd add to the global economics point the fact that silicon substrate prices aren't particularly stable. (I mentioned the impact the Japanese earthquake/tsunami earlier in the year had on silicon availability.)



I'll bet they're not. Everyone put their eggs in a single basket...again. I wonder if MEMC will be firing back up the wafer plant in Sherman, TX anytime soon because of this stuff.

Michael
Posts: 340
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Competition

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:52 pm

Quote from Rubus on September 6, 2011, 10:56
If you're going to make and sell these in bulk, do you think that some of Broadcom's big customers will think that you're stepping on their toes?


Actually, Broadcom customers such as Roku are probably on the happy end of the scale - they get the benefit of Open Source developers working on the same platform as them. If anyone is concerned, (and I don't see much evidence) its probably those of Roku's competitors that are using non-Broadcom and non-ARM products.

Rubus
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Competition

Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:28 am

Quote from Michael on September 6, 2011, 21:52
Quote from Rubus on September 6, 2011, 10:56
If you're going to make and sell these in bulk, do you think that some of Broadcom's big customers will think that you're stepping on their toes?


Actually, Broadcom customers such as Roku are probably on the happy end of the scale - they get the benefit of Open Source developers working on the same platform as them. If anyone is concerned, (and I don't see much evidence) its probably those of Roku's competitors that are using non-Broadcom and non-ARM products.


You make two good points.

And perhaps I was being paranoid. I *really* hope this project succeeds, but being a pessimistic bastard, it's natural for me to imagine possible obstacles (which may not exist or may have already been circumvented).

Return to “General discussion”