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Re: Model A price point

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:47 pm
by pluggy
Jim JKla wrote:
pluggy wrote:Since no-one is holding a gun to your head, just don't buy one if you don't like carriage and taxes.

The second is one of the only two certainties in life in any case.
Death only comes once so the gun to the head is quite a poinient analogy. ;)
I hadn't noticed that when I posted it.... :)

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:43 pm
by Jim Manley
From all reports here on the various forum threads, Farnell (and its partners/subsidiaries) seems to charge more for shipping and manhandling than others, on average, with the range of costs varying widely from country to country, and not counting the actual shipping cost. Meanwhile, RS (and its partners/subsidiaries) is perennially out-of-stock with a minimum of a six-week wait after paying up-front, but with cheaper shipping and manhandling charges, on average. Downstream sellers of Pi boards (Maplin, CPC, MCM, Adafruit, etc.) are also at the mercy of Farnell's/RS's distribution policies. That's not much of a choice, competition-wise, and they're not even having to pay for cost-of-money (aka capital) for production since customers are having to pay up-front to fund it (I can't think of another product for which that's true).

The reason for this situation is that no one knows when (not if) demand for the Pi will end (currently and thankfully there's no end in sight). However, when it does, Farnell/RS don't want to be stuck with even a single board left in inventory that hasn't already been paid for by a customer. This is an artifact of the early days of production, when no one knew what the actual demand for the Pi was as that was complicated by the insane number of website hits experienced by Farnell and RS. The hits were in the millions as hundreds of thousands of prospective buyers around the world tried to place orders, or even just express interest in placing an order.

The Model A release is initially being limited to the UK to gauge demand and because of the need to manage production to prevent any unsold inventory in case demand doesn't materialize as expected. If production were ramped up to meet actual current demand and then demand dropped precipitously, there could be months' worth of excess inventory worth millions of dollars/pounds. That would wipe out any profit that might have actually been made and would probably put the entire project in the red, at least on the distributors' side since the Foundation provides no funding. The balancing act that's been going on so far has been unprecedented and remains amazing as it continues unabated.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:47 pm
by tonyhughes
Good post Jim, if this were Wikipedia I'd be howling about citations, but as a forum post, it looks pretty well thought out.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:16 pm
by Jim Manley
tonyhughes wrote:Good post Jim, if this were Wikipedia I'd be howling about citations, but as a forum post, it looks pretty well thought out.
Thanks Tony. I keep forgetting to add a disclaimer that I have no inside knowledge about anything I post about (apparently, some people have the impression I do based on my verbosity). However, the reader may be interested that I spent the better part of a decade as a technical, military, economic, and political intelligence analyst. I worked another couple of decades as a software engineer, manager, and founder in over half a dozen SillyCon Valley startups. So, I have a bit of an advantage over the average bear when it comes to rampant speculation and prognostication about computing products and services. And yes, I do children's birthday parties ... :lol:

I would put the disclaimer in my sig line, but who the heck reads those?

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:54 am
by alexeames
Jim Manley wrote:The Model A release is initially being limited to the UK to gauge demand and because of the need to manage production to prevent any unsold inventory in case demand doesn't materialize as expected.
Liz said in the blog last week that it was due to export paperwork. But limited rollout seems like a good thing.

I thought it was anticipated that the model A will outsell the B simply because of all the industrial embedded applications, for which the extra capabilities aren't required.

I think it didn't experience the massive surge that the model B had (I was watching stock levels and they were only decreasing by hundreds per hour on day 1) simply because everyone who's curious already had a model B or three.

The fact that it only needs 0.5 watts rather than 2 watts at idle is a big factor in its favour for battery powered use too.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:11 am
by poing
I don't have a factory (yet :D ) but wouldn't you want a central control point, meaning all the Pies connected through Ethernet?

With four peripherals and a hub attached I get 15 hours of battery life for the Model A as opposed to 12 hours for the Model B. Which is good. What I'm curious about is whether the USB problems suddenly have vanished because the extra chip has gone.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:25 am
by Jim JKla
There really is only one way to find out. ;)

My order is pending.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:30 pm
by alexeames
poing wrote:I don't have a factory (yet :D ) but wouldn't you want a central control point, meaning all the Pies connected through Ethernet?.
Stuxnet? Etc.

I can see a good case for standalone applications. :D

Totally depends what you're doing though.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:59 pm
by poing
alexeames wrote:
poing wrote:I don't have a factory (yet :D ) but wouldn't you want a central control point, meaning all the Pies connected through Ethernet?.
Stuxnet? Etc.
MOAH, by they time they realize they need StruxPi to slow down my automated nuclear warhead factory the skies over their heads will be blackened by PiDrones :twisted:

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 pm
by poing
More seriously, could you admins please close down this thread? Enough is enough...

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:19 pm
by Jim Manley
Poing, just because you can't keep your "neutrons" in your pants doesn't mean the rest of us can't ... :lol:

So, to get this (closer to being) back on topic, there are a lot of educators, students, and parents for whom the difference between $25 and $35 is a really big deal, especially in this economy (or lack thereof). $25 even for a stand-alone educational computer board is a wonderful price-point. To give you an idea of what a typical classroom budget is these days, teachers in my school are limited to two reams of copier/printer paper per month for around 60 students. That's around $35 per month, per teacher, and for the 60 students, that's less than $0.60 per student per month.

This is in an area where millionaires and billionaires live within 20 minutes' driving time, so we're not even talking about an inner-city or remote rural school, just a typical middle-class neighborhood. I should point out that this is after California voters passed a $30 billion/year state tax increase in November 2012 that can only be used for schools, but that's meant more to keep additional teachers from being laid off, not buying more paper, much less educational technology.

As it appears the Foundation is discovering about educational technology bureaucracies (that are in bed with the Wintel PC and Apple suppliers via established, politically-driven, long-term contracts), getting Pi boards in the hands of deserving students directly (via purchases by their parents if possible, or by grants, etc., if necessary) is the shortest path to wider distribution. Sad, but true.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:27 pm
by pygmy_giant
I think I'll buy my model A from NewIT - £2.46 P&P - quite reasonable.

They have only 1 website and its clear and simple to understand: http://www.newit.co.uk/

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:40 pm
by alexeames
Just to throw a spanner in the works, I just checked Farnell and they've not got any in stock, but the price has shifted from last week's £15.97 + VAT to £19.03 + VAT

Thought that might give somebody something to moan about. :lol:

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:43 pm
by pygmy_giant
Don't get me started...... :roll:

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:46 pm
by alexeames
pygmy_giant wrote:Don't get me started......
As if. :lol:

Mind you RS are at £16.11 + VAT, which is about where it should be. In stock too.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:46 pm
by mikerr
pygmy_giant wrote:I think I'll buy my model A from NewIT - £2.46 P&P - quite reasonable.
£2.46 "more reasonable" postage - but they're charging £2.50 more for the Pi model A unit in the first place

Load the product price, to offer low postage...

New-IT - 21.50 + £2.46 = £24.46 total
CPC - 18.88 + 0.00 = £18.88 total

Once CPC's free postage ends that'll go up to £26.02 (unless you order extra items as free delivery will then revert to £45 order total).

And lets face it New-IT are ordering from farnell /rs anyway...

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:48 pm
by pygmy_giant
I'll stick with NewIT I think Farnell and RS prices are index linked to the weather.

Err - hang on - NewIT are charging $28.08 (!)

I give up :cry: :cry: :cry:

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:49 pm
by alexeames
mikerr wrote:£2.46 "more reasonable" postage - but they're charging £2.50 more for the Pi model A unit.

Load the product price, to offer low postage...

New-IT - 21.50 + £2.46 = £24.46 total
CPC - 18.88 + 0.00 = £18.88 total

Once CPC's free postage ends that'll go up to £26.02 (unless you order extra items as free delivery will then revert to £45 order total).
Crumbs - it'd be better to go direct to Farnell or RS then, they have min order £20 to get free delivery

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:52 pm
by pygmy_giant
NewIT have made up their own base price

RS charge you for other peoples P&P

and CPC/Farnell have turned their website into a gameshow.

Hooray for freedom of choice!

All I want is a simple life - is that so wrong?

:cry: :cry: :cry:

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:14 pm
by pygmy_giant
Looks like CPC/Farnell is the best bet (as mikerr has said all along) - lets hope their very special offer that should have ended last week will last for ever. Thanks CPC for doing us all such a super massive favour with your really generous offer. I wonder why no-one else can match it....?

watch the ball - watch the ball - watch as I put it under the cup .... now watch as I shuffle all 3 around - are you watching my friend? Watch closely now. Now my friend simply pick one - find the ball and win some money...! Roll up, roll up, try your luck - all the fun of the fair for only $25+VAT+P&P+BS

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:52 pm
by pygmy_giant
I'm not bitter or disturbed - I just find life confusing enough - why does everything have to be confusing? Ok - how's this for therapy - I'm about to describe my experience last Friday - see if you can guess which retail park electronics shop I'm talking about (clue: it contains the letters P-A-I-N).

I wanted an SD card in a hurry for my son to play Minecraft at the weekend - I walk in - empty save for 5 members of staff - damn - outnumbered - about to draw breath "Can I help you sir?" Me: "Err..yes have you got any SD cards?" - Escorted to the aisle - check price against capacity and speed - mental arithmatic - decide to get 4gb micro SD for £4.99 - walk to counter. "Are you sure you want that one? You do know it works out cheaper per Gb if you get an 8Gb card for £7.99?" Me: "It works out a lot cheaper if I get it one off the internet, but I'm in a hurry - this one's fine". "True - but if you spend just a penny more you can get a free *adapter* worth £4". Me thinking: "Only in this ****** shop." Me speaking: "Whatever- Ive got hundreds already". CS gets alternative card and makes extra penny for store - I pay and turn to leave - girl with clip board pops out of the ground - fake smile "Do you mind if I ask you a few.." I channel adrenaline to my facial muscles and employ charm counter-offensive "I'm really sorry I am in a hurry" - I make a run for it and then I'm free...

Why does everything have to be a hustle?

Am I getting old and grumpy or is there a trend towards this sort of thing?

Another example I go to the Post Office to buy a stamp - the stamps have doubled in price overnight - I have to pass a lie detector test to convince the cashier that there is no jewelry inside and that it does not need to be insured and that I do not want to top up my mobile phone or buy a credit card.

I feel like Michael Douglas in the film 'Falling Down' - I think its being in my 30s - people say you get grumpy in your 30s.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:06 am
by jackokring
The features of A: Placed in no order.

1) Lower power
2) Cheaper
3) No Ethernet

Other Pi issues (not really platform destroying, but would be nice not to exist).

1) Networking 3 Pies. (Or 2 if A)
2) 5 Volt/12 Volt Powered GPIO breakout cover shield, and other power options (of same size as Pi TinyGurty)
3) There may be others

I had an idea for a product. The SD-Ring adapter. Tiny SD card reader using USB. (Nothing novel so far). BUT have the file space buffered (even some small RAM maybe, just a few sectors like cache). Wait for it... AND TWO micro USB connectors. A data share network chain becomes a £2 (or less) device. This idea is OPEN, I give all rights to everybody relating to the SD-Ring. One USB connector has to be opto isolated via cheap chip. Therefore the USB connectors have to be identified as pow-ring, and dat-opto, in the device for a unique topology ID to be constructed easily.

The first USB data store and forward (at a time of leisure) network?

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:26 pm
by alexeames
Yfory wrote:What does bother me, a lot, is that it cost £4.95 shipping.
Solution? Have them packaged in Wales, nearer to Bridgend, not Leeds. (No offence intended towards Leeds, you're just so far away it doesn't make sense!)
Other solution:

You would have got free shipping if you'd bought something more for £4 on RS and added it to your order. So instead of £4.95 down the drain, you could have spent £4 on leds, a psu etc. and had something to show for it.

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:36 pm
by RaTTuS
alexeames wrote:
Yfory wrote:What does bother me, a lot, is that it cost £4.95 shipping.
Solution? Have them packaged in Wales, nearer to Bridgend, not Leeds. (No offence intended towards Leeds, you're just so far away it doesn't make sense!)
Other solution:

You would have got free shipping if you'd bought something more for £4 on RS and added it to your order. So instead of £4.95 down the drain, you could have spent £4 on leds, a psu etc. and had something to show for it.
or a case

Re: Model A price point

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:04 pm
by LemmeFatale
Yfory wrote:I do feel that the tag line should be changed from:
"An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25" to "An ARM GNU/Linux box for £25", but at least for me, that is more a matter of it being a British computer and therefore not being ashamed of the pound coin. It would also help to clear up some disgruntlement.
If it's of any interest, my understanding from following other British-based computing/electronics projects is that this is nothing to do with "being ashamed" of Pounds Sterling, but actually due to the fact that parts are usually traded in US Dollars. Accordingly, the $25 figure will not change, but £25 might and very likely will. ;)