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In brief: Availability of in-demand consumer electronics including game consoles and graphics cards is much healthier today compared to the beginning of the year but it is not ubiquitous. As those in the market for a Raspberry Pi can attest to, finding one is just as much of a chore now as it was nine months ago unless you want to grossly overpay for one from a third-party marketplace. Worse yet, the situation likely will not improve anytime soon.
Back in April, Raspberry Pi chief Ebon Upton said they have been able to consistently build around half a million single-board computer and Compute Module products each month and anticipated building at this rate over the coming months.
Upton at the time also said they were prioritizing shipments to commercial and industrial customers that need Raspberry Pis to run their businesses, acknowledging that some people's livelihoods are at stake. This meant that individual customers considering a Pi for a home project or prototyping could be facing some delays.
It has been about five months, so where does the situation stand currently? During a recent YouTube livestream, Jeff Geerling said he spoke to Upton and asked about the matter. Upton told him everything from the April post still stands, meaning they are still supply constrained and are still prioritizing OEM customers that need them for business. That said, Upton noted they are ring-fencing some supply for retail customers.
If for some reason you absolutely need a Raspberry Pi ASAP, Geerling recommends emailing Raspberry Pi directly and explaining your situation to see if they can make an exception. There is no guarantee you will be able to skip the line but if you have a genuine need, they might be able to work with you.
Raspberry Pi earlier this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. At the time, the company said it had sold more than 45 million units to date – a figure that is no doubt higher some seven months later.
Image credit: Harrison Broadbent