It may not be a good time for best pricing when it comes to motherboards, CPUs, and GPUs. However, Raspberry Pi boards continued to sail through most of 2020-2021 without an increase in its price.
But, recently, Raspberry Pi announced its first-ever price hike ever, so why is that happening?
Supply Chain Issues: What is it Exactly?
The entire semiconductor industry is suffering from an incredibly high demand and short supply situation.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirements for electronic components, gadgets, and computers have shot up.
Of course, the GPU (graphics card) shortage is the worst of them. But, overall, if a product uses a chip, it is tough to readily manufacture as of now.
Every major company has been investing to ramp up the work in a foundry to get more chips out. However, considering an unprecedented demand globally, it will take at least a few years to fulfill the current orders and move on.
Raspberry Pi managed to survive 2020 and most of 2021 without significant issues in manufacturing boards as per the demands.
While Raspberry Pi 4 launch price and its availability were not initially affected by a large margin, it could not escape the supply chain issues forever.
Hence, Raspberry Pi predicts that they cannot meet the rise in demands as they would expect compared to their capacity of manufacturing. And, this is why they are increasing the pricing for some of their products.
Raspberry Pi Price Hike: What Changes?
The affected products include the Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2 GB variant of the Raspberry Pi 4.
While they intended to manufacture more this year, they will make about seven million units in 2021 due to supply chain issues.
The Raspberry Pi 4 2GB variant was priced at $35 replacing the 1 GB option. However, it is now priced back at $45, temporarily.
And, the 1 GB Raspberry Pi 4 option is making a comeback at $35. This way, you get more options, but the one with more memory gets expensive.
For now, they will focus on Compute Module 3, Compute Module 3+, and Raspberry Pi 3B.
So, it is worth noting that if you are looking for a Raspberry Pi 3B+, you might want to consider Raspberry Pi 4. In other words, the older Raspberry Pi models like 3B+ and Zero may not have a good availability throughout this year (and the next).
Is It a Permanent Price Change?
Considering Raspberry Pi managed to maintain the pricing even with the global chip shortage, we can be confident that they can bring the old price back soon.
Here’s what they mention in their official announcement:
These changes in pricing are not here to stay. As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can.
In addition to the unfortunate price hike, they also say that they currently predict a sound capacity of supply to be able to support existing Raspberry Pi 4 customers along with users migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+ as well:
The good news is that we’ve been able to hold the line on pricing for all but one of our products; that we expect to have enough 28nm silicon over the next twelve months to support both our existing Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 customers, and customers migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+; and that we see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease.
Given that they are essentially going back to their old pricing, I think that the business users and tinkerers do not have a lot to worry about.
What do you think about its price hike? Feel free to enter the comments section below to share your thoughts.