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bensimmo
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:32 pm

mwrich4 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
The official line is that it is 1 per person at the five or ten dollar price for Pi zero and Pi zero w respectively.
I don't really intend to stir the pot. It would be good to see a source[link] for your comment.
...
He is the Source for the comment, he is the Official

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=188011
If you want a link to say the same thing :-)

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:50 pm

mwrich4 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm
"affordable enough for any project!" to me is an invitation to buy multiples
To me, that doesn't mean you can run multiple projects concurrently - it means you could run your Christmas tree lights, then your Easter Bunny lights, then ... all with the same Zero.
I figured the low cost was because it was an outlet to market an outdated SoC design in a cost-effective scaled-down package.
I understood it to be more a case of "How low can we make the price of a computer?". $5 was a good aiming point, and they succeeded - rather better than anyone expected.

Back in 1980, the ZX81 sold for £80, and was thought remarkably cheap.
There aren't many things that have dropped so low, especially taking into account inflation.
Petrol, for example, was 29p a litre in 1980

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:36 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:37 pm
Perhaps it's non-sense.

On the other hand perhaps it's a purely practical mater. I can imagine if I was a supplier, like Pimoroni, I would not want the hassle of enforcing the one per customer limit. That would imply I have to maintain in my database a record of how many Zero, of what type perhaps, so that I can keep a check on you. Nah, much easier just to check for one per order.

Of course enforcing one per customer is impossible. To do that all possible suppliers would have to share their data on which customers purchased what. That's not going to happen.

Really, I don't know what the fuss is about.
This, exactly. And not only is it not practical to limit to one per person (let alone one per household), but (IANAL) it might even be illegal collusion to even attempt to do so.

For those protesting that it's all okay...I agree that quantities are limited, though a good deal less limited than they used to be. In part, what is being discussed became a self-fulfilling prophecy. People came up with any number of ideas for which they wanted multiple Pi0s/Pi0Ws. Anywhere from 2 or 3 to tens of them (remember all the threads about wanting them sold in "10 packs"?). As a result of this problem, people took to ordering Pi0s whenever they could, and once they had what they considered to be a reasonable number of spares against a sudden desire to do something that required several of them, to toss a Pi0 or Pi0W in with any order made to a given supplier, if only to save on shipping cost.

As best I can figure out, no one in the supply chain actually *losses* money. It's that various parts of it don't make as much as they'd like. The possible exception is the final retail sale because the profit may not cover all the costs, particularly the labor needed to handle an order if all it consists of is a Pi0/Pi0W. One way to make the retailer happier (if not necessarily happy) would be to combine ordering a Pi0/Pi0W together with other things you're going to order anyway.

I would suggest that bundling six or ten Pi0s/Pi0Ws together as a single package at the factory so the retailer "handles" one object instead of six or ten would increase the "unit price" for the retailer without needing to raise the price on individual Pi0s or Pi0Ws.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:47 pm

Burngate wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:50 pm
mwrich4 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm
"affordable enough for any project!" to me is an invitation to buy multiples
To me, that doesn't mean you can run multiple projects concurrently - it means you could run your Christmas tree lights, then your Easter Bunny lights, then ... all with the same Zero.
So you don't think that, say, putting up half a dozen security cameras might be a suitable project for Pi0/Pi0Ws? Or--since I built a Pi0W-based electroning name badge--there would be a problem if I made ones for the rest of the family as well? Or the point that was made about ordering Pi0s or Pi0Ws for each of two kids, plus one for the father to test/do setups/experiment with?
I figured the low cost was because it was an outlet to market an outdated SoC design in a cost-effective scaled-down package.
I understood it to be more a case of "How low can we make the price of a computer?". $5 was a good aiming point, and they succeeded - rather better than anyone expected.
As I understand the goal, it was to make a free computer and $5 was as close as could actually be achieved. And an impressive achievement it is.
Back in 1980, the ZX81 sold for £80, and was thought remarkably cheap.
There aren't many things that have dropped so low, especially taking into account inflation.
Petrol, for example, was 29p a litre in 1980
I remember "gas wars". Stations across an intersection from each other would drop their prices in an attempt to gain business from the other. Sometimes this was subsidized by the refining company. Prices would drop down as low as $0.15 to $0.17 per gallon. For a bit more context, that's the US gallon (4 quarts) and the at the time the GBP was $2.80.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:30 pm

W. H. Heydt,
As I understand the goal, it was to make a free computer...
Where on Earth did you get that idea from?

The folks at the Pi Foundation have their heads screwed on. As much as "free" might be a whimsical dream I'm pretty sure they are realists who would not practically entertain such a notion. Certainly the distributors and the factories would not.

Of course the Pi Zero was (still is?) free with a subscription to the Pi Mag. Well, why not? Same incentive as the free toys that used to pop out of corn flake packets.

I just don't get why so many people are hung up on understanding the Pi Zero situation.

What I do see is that people get the chance to buy a great product at a really low price, from a charitable organization that is making no money out of it, and then complain like hell when they can't have more.

Greedy, ungrateful buggers.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:48 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:30 pm
What I do see is that people get the chance to buy a great product at a really low price, from a charitable organization that is making no money out of it, and then complain like hell when they can't have more.

Greedy, ungrateful buggers.
What I see is an organization getting everyone excited about a $5 computer, without any clearly stated restrictions, and then later pulling the rug out from under us by saying, "I guess we forgot to mention this earlier, but you can only ever have just one."

There's a big difference between greedy/ungrateful and disappointed.
RASPBERRY PI ZERO

The Raspberry Pi Zero is half the size of a Model A+, with twice the utility. A tiny Raspberry Pi that’s affordable enough for any project!
https://youtu.be/jFoA4u4x2uk

Nowhere in any of the Raspberry Pi Zero press do they mention any kind of limits. And "affordable enough for any project" is absolutely an invitation to get more than one (Burngate's interpretation is ridiculous).

If 1-per-customer was the goal, then this was handled very badly.
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:33 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:30 pm
W. H. Heydt,
As I understand the goal, it was to make a free computer...
Where on Earth did you get that idea from?
I got it from the reoprts that Eben Upton talked with (IIRC) Eric Schmidt and mused about making a more expensive--and capable--Pi that would be a viable classroom server. Schmidt is supposed to have replied that, no, the goal should be a zero cost computer. The Pi0 being the result of that conversation.

Should I also note that the BBC MicroBit was touted as free...to Y7 students? That suggests that the "free" goal isn't totally "pi in the sky". It just means that there has to be some other source of revenue to support the idea. Being able (even if with difficulty) *sell* a computer, however limited, for $5 is an incredible achievement and something the RPT/RPF should be justly proud of. But that doesn't mean there haven't been--and still are--some rocks in the road.
The folks at the Pi Foundation have their heads screwed on. As much as "free" might be a whimsical dream I'm pretty sure they are realists who would not practically entertain such a notion. Certainly the distributors and the factories would not.
Perhaps realism would suggest that the price should have been set at $6 to allow for a bit more profit at every level. It would be inteesting to know what the price would have to be for RS and Farnell to carry them, but even if that is known outside those companies, I'm sure no one is going to give a number in public.
I just don't get why so many people are hung up on understanding the Pi Zero situation.
I think people, at least the ones willing to take a dispationate look, *do* understand. On the other hand, that doesn't necessarily mean agreement. Nor does it mean that any given individual isn't willing to point to contradictions and changes in policy. For rather a long time (as such things go) we were led to believe that the reason for the sales restriction (one per order) was due to supply/demand imbalance and that--as production ramped up (at least somewhat) and demand declined because those that badly wanted the boards got them, the restriction would be relaxed or removed. It is now being stated that, not only will the restrictions NOT be relaxed, let alone removed, but that they are --and were supposed to be--even tighter. Not just one per order, but one per person. Since "one per person" is clearly unenforceable, it makes for bad policy. I would class it--as a policy--as misguided at best and downright stupid at worst.

One other pertinent--I think--point on the demand issue.... Back in the day it was stated that the RPF expected the typical Pi owner to buy *maybe* as many as two or three Pis. It quickly became apparent that a surprisingly large number of Pi owners the reality was typically 5 to 6 Pis. Now why on Earth would *anyone* expect that to be different with the Pi0/Pi0W? Given the relative prices, wouldn't you expect anyone planning to use the Pi0/Pi0W to get even more of them than they would the more expensive boards?
What I do see is that people get the chance to buy a great product at a really low price, from a charitable organization that is making no money out of it, and then complain like hell when they can't have more.
There is a very important difference between making NO money and making less than desired, or even very little. If the RPT/RPF are are actually making NO money on the Pi0/Pi0W, then they should either be discontinued altogether (there was never a promise that they would continue to be made regardless of demand, unlike other Pis) or just raise the price to a level at which there is an acceptable return. The later could even be coupled with things like educational discounts back to the current price.

As it is, so long as the policy was "one per order" with the *potential* to lift the restriction, there was grumbling from those who wanted to order moderate sized batches, but no real revolts. Even now if it were to be stated that a "one per order" limit will *never* be lifted, I think most individuals would roll with the punch. Those who felt they needed one or more Pi0/Pi0Ws on short notice would grit their teeth and accept that they were going to get hammered on the shipping charges and order from multiple vendors at once. Everyone who foresaw an eventual need/desire for multiple Pi0/Pi0Ws would plan ahead and add a board to any order they placed with a company that carried them when they were making an order anyway. The lucky few who pass by a brick-and-mortar store that carries Pi0/Pi0Ws would just make a habit of stopping in when the opportunity presented itself.
Greedy, ungrateful buggers.
Is it greedy to take the RPT/RPF at their word? Is it ungrateful to object to having this particular rug yanked out from under one? As for me...I'm grateful that the Pi0 and Pi0W were launched. If I seriously thought they were going to go off the market in the foreseeable future (say, the next 6 months), I would start ordering more Pi0Ws until I had what I would consider to be a lifetime supply. I would be taking the risk that something better would come along rendering that supply suitable only for display cases, but at least I wouldn't run out of them for my own projects for a good long while.

And, if it comes to that, there is another way to reduce the demand for the Pi0/Pi0W. Right now, in terms of board capability, there is almost no practical distinction between the Pi0 and A+. If the--now rather long awaited--Pi3A were to launch, it might well reduce the demand for the Pi0W *and* give a significantly higher margin for the entire supply chain. Even if a "Pi2A2" (think Pi2Bv1.2 reduced to an A+ format...900MHz, no WiFi) would directly compete with the Pi0 for some uses.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:18 am

I guess we could continue bantering about this for a long time. To no useful effect.

It's probably better to just live with the situation as it is and get on with something else.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:33 am

I would rather hope for a clarification about the apparent rationing still in effect.

Yes, it's understandable that margins are slim. I appreciate the effort to build a low-cost platform to distribute to educators.

But, based on the site, my thoughts are that the low-cost ZeroPi platform just helps add to the required critical-mass for grassroots hobbyist projects to add to the core of material available to young hobbyists. Beginners usually don't have the resources or experience to develop a project from scratch. Experienced hobbyists generate fresh projects and write-ups for others to build on top of. Even reading about a 20 unit project inspires others to explore and try ideas that are not possible or realistic with a single board configuration.

So, simply, I would hope for one of the moderators to ask someone who IS in control of the long-term plans to provide some clarification. Guesswork just creates speculation and division.

Respectfully

EDIT: I just noticed this post
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
He is the Source for the comment, he is the Official

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=188011
If you want a link to say the same thing :-)
The note that follows on Nov 30, 2017 is a great clarification - Thank you.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:10 am

mwrich4 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:33 am
I would rather hope for a clarification about the apparent rationing still in effect.
Everything has been made clear in this thread. Were you not paying attention?

There is no Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W "rationing" in effect. The $5 Pi Zero and $10 Pi Zero W are limited to ONE PER CUSTOMER at that price.

Now, of course, that one per customer policy is impossible to enforce across multiple dealers in multiple countries, but the net result is that you will NEVER be able order more than 1 at a time for the $5/$10 price. The ONE-PER-ORDER limitation at most dealers is here to stay, like it or not.

If you want the $5 Pi Zero or the $10 Pi Zero W you will have to order them 1 at a time (possibly from multiple dealers) and pay shipping for each and every one. That restriction is not going to be lifted.

If you want to order more than 1, buy kits or modified models (preinstalled GPIO header) that don't have the restrictions (but cost more per unit).

If you want huge quantities (hundreds or thousands) they will be made available for a higher price per unit, so not only will you not receive a quantity discount, you will pay more than the consumer retail $5/$10 for your quantity buy.
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:41 am

mwrich4 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
The official line is that it is 1 per person at the five or ten dollar price for Pi zero and Pi zero w respectively.
I don't really intend to stir the pot. It would be good to see a source[link] for your comment.
The source/ citation is me. I walked over to the guy who deals with this and asked him. I was surprised that the official line was one per customer, but the reasoning is sound. It is prevent people buying large quantities and then selling them on eBay, scalping.
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:33 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:41 am
mwrich4 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
The official line is that it is 1 per person at the five or ten dollar price for Pi zero and Pi zero w respectively.
I don't really intend to stir the pot. It would be good to see a source[link] for your comment.
The source/ citation is me. I walked over to the guy who deals with this and asked him. I was surprised that the official line was one per customer, but the reasoning is sound. It is prevent people buying large quantities and then selling them on eBay, scalping.
That's interesting. Did he have any idea how to implement a "one per person" policy? I would think that the "one per order" would inhibit the behavior that is to be forestalled. On the other hand, having enough so that supply and demand are in reasonable balance would do that as well. And--yes--I understand the difficulties in achieving that.

The "one per person" has not, to my memory, previously been public, or if actually stated, certainly was not said loudly or frequently enough to become "common knowledge", unlike the "one per order"--assumed--policy. Indeed, it has been buried deep enough that most vendors have appeared to have been unaware or unheeding of it.

I think this is what people are reacting to. While "one per person" may have been policy all along, no one seems to have heard about it until this thread.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:46 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:33 pm
it has been buried deep enough that most vendors have appeared to have been unaware or unheeding of it.
Maybe they are aware and it is up to them to decide what suits them better. If the rule as agreed between them was one per order then the shop would need to ship many orders with just single Zeroes until the stock is out. In case they lose money/work for free/don't make profits with such single Zero orders they have a choice to say no second time. So maybe pirates at Pimoroni can handle one per order and don't mind extra work hoping they get it back in other way, but the guy in CZ chose otherwise.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:07 pm

Until this weekend (and this thread), I 'assumed' that the 1 per person limit was rationing similar to what we experienced when the first raspberry pis were released. I think that one per person at a discount was a decent reason, but why not say THAT more clearly. Perhaps, if supplies are adequate, offering multipack kits of 5/10/20 that don't require special negotiations would be much more efficient for everyone. The kits could even be bundled with 1 or 2 power supplies, a few cases, a camera or other wires to improve handling margins for everyone.

Right now, the vendors are acting as though they cannot sell more than one at a time unless bundled with $40 worth of extra stuff. This is all very similar to the rationing of original Model A boards and led to my misinterpretation.

Am I wrong that most of the senior embedded tinkerers were born from the era of counting bits/bytes, dollars/cents and avoiding difficult to source components? Investing in a development platform is a long-term commitment that one does not take lightly. I thought that moving to the raspberry pi camp would offer the inspiration, resources, and support needed to chase random ideas for projects. It is unlikely that the person buying 1 at a time is going to contribute much fuel to keep the momentum going since they are very likely to be a novice.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:17 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:05 pm
hippy,
I meant that I don't believe they ever said the Zero would be so cheap and readily available that people can treat them with reckless abandon
Ah yes. So the irony is then that they so rare that if you happen to have one it's too valuable to break and you take good care of. Even though the price is so low.
Exactly that. I wasn't too miffed at missing the MagPi AIY Voice Kit freebie because it was ( at the time ), one and that's your lot. Break it and you are SOL. I don't usually buy anything I can't get three of; for use, experimenting, spare.

I have a Pi Zero W but I am cautious about the risk of damaging it because, while cheap, it is not easy to replace. I would like to do all sorts of ridiculous things with it, push it to its limit, if I could blow one up then walk to my corner shop and buy a replacement, I would. But it's not as easy as that.
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
it is possible to buy in bulk at a higher price but bulk in this case means probably at least 500 items.
Now this is an option and I have access to funding; I am seriously considering a commercial venture to buy in bulk to resell in multiples if that is permitted. It obviously depends how much bulk pricing is but a 6K order would not be unrealistic, resold as 500 sets of 12, or maybe sets of 4. I have more research to do but will hopefully be in touch with the Foundation soon.

I guess if someone else wanted to do the same they can. Perhaps through a kickstarter.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:20 pm

To me the one per customer statement on all the vendor sites made me think it was OK to buy one from Adafruit and also one from CanaKit as a spare in case of failure and also buy again on different orders. This is standard practice in the USA for items sold with a limit of one per customer, you are allowed to buy one per visit from each retailer that offers the prodcut. When a manufacturer or retailer wants to limit it to one per person they issue coupons so that each person gets only one coupon and therefore can only buy one unit from one of the retailers ever.

Now I understand that the foundation really only wanted me to buy one bare unit period, oops.

Ten of the 12 ZeroW's I've bought were sold as kits that included other stuff and as far as I understand it the foundation says that is OK. However I have not seen an official policy on the bundles, is this true?

This bundle policy makes sense when they include official foundation accessories but the CanKit basic had only a non-foundation power supply and µSD card so it appears the foundation was not getting extra cash on that bundle.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm

OK, so the official line is one per customer. But clearly that is practically impossible to enforce (you can buy from different suppliers and dealing with that would be a nightmare). So most suppliers take a easier to deal with pragmatic approach and limit to one per order. And some suppliers use the one per person rules more accurately.

From the RPF's point of view, as long as people are unable to buy large quantities at the educational price, then the desire to prevent scalping is achieved. That is whole reason behind the official line.


As for people buying large quantities at the higher price, if they want to sell on then I believe that is OK. However, please PM me and I will put you in touch with the person who deals with bulk purchasing, and he will be able to give you more detail, subject to some privacy requirements.
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:38 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm
From the RPF's point of view, as long as people are unable to buy large quantities at the educational price, then the desire to prevent scalping is achieved. That is whole reason behind the official line.
Does that mean that all of these listings on ebay are imaginary? https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... w&_sacat=0 :evil:
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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:48 pm

mwrich4 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:07 pm
Am I wrong that most of the senior embedded tinkerers were born from the era of counting bits/bytes, dollars/cents and avoiding difficult to source components? Investing in a development platform is a long-term commitment that one does not take lightly. I thought that moving to the raspberry pi camp would offer the inspiration, resources, and support needed to chase random ideas for projects. It is unlikely that the person buying 1 at a time is going to contribute much fuel to keep the momentum going since they are very likely to be a novice.
Moving the Raspberry Pi camp does that...but with the Pi0/Pi0W you can't order in bulk at the $5/$10 rate. PM jamesh for details. If you're really developing a platform to sell, then your target devices are the CM, CM3, CM3L and--possibly--the NEC CM3-16.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:53 pm

mwrich4 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:07 pm
Right now, the vendors are acting as though they cannot sell more than one at a time unless bundled with $40 worth of extra stuff. This is all very similar to the rationing of original Model A boards and led to my misinterpretation.
I don't think that ever applied to the Model A, but that board came on the market and then disappeared quite quickly. I didn't manage to get any until much later and did so then only so that I'd have them. It did apply to the original Model B, but only fora few months. Even at that, it was pretty common practice to order one from each supplier (if you wanted more than one). In the middle of the period when the Model B was rationed, there was a brief period when it wasn't and I ordered then 2 at a time over a couple of orders.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:03 am

jamesh wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm
From the RPF's point of view, as long as people are unable to buy large quantities at the educational price, then the desire to prevent scalping is achieved. That is whole reason behind the official line.
And yet...somehow the scalpers do manage to get their hands on some quantity greater than someone who patiently orders one at a time (from any given vendor) and the relative scarcity drives the price up on the secondary market.

The goal of the RPF is laudable, but there appear to be enough "leaks" in the system that the implementation is counterproductive. Unfortunately I don't think it is practical to cut the scalpers off at the knees by flooding the market, but it's fun to think about it happening.

As I see it, the only two practical means to solve the problem are to either raise the price modestly (and give genuine educational discounts) or the get something new on the market to at least partially dry up demand. At one talk (Maker Faire in San Mateo), Eben was asked what he learned from doing the Raspberry Pi. He replied, "Release early and often." Perhaps getting the Pi3A out the door would ease the demand pressure on the Pi0W.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:03 am

I'm going to try to go away silently ... the group here is fixated on commercial order type thoughts.

As a tinkerer, the edge connected compute module is overkill and much pricier to implement a 1-off idea, since it requires a custom board for each implementation.

The PiZero (or even a full Pi) was attractive because using a dozen or so GPIOs didn't require a large hobby budget.

I hear you, "Buy one and go away unless you want to buy 1,000. Even then, we'd prefer you use another ARM SoC platform."

It's a shame . . . I initially funded the RPF through my purchases because I thought the 2 ideas ought to co-exist.

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Re: Pi Zero W availability

Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:24 am

To an extent, I can understand the first one is cheap, repeat purchases must be in bulk, but who has 5 grand (minimum as it is stated the per unit cost is substantially more when buying in bulk) to buy a second Pi0w because their first one broke? I could stand to buy 5 or 10 but not 500. I could even accept the price doubling and the reason being the size factor - a major selling point of the zero.

But of course, my opinions don't matter as they're ineducated opinions - there are very likely reasons why the Pi foundation does things this way, we just don't get told.
55:55:44:44:4C
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W. H. Heydt
Posts: 10899
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:23 am

mwrich4 wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:03 am
I'm going to try to go away silently ... the group here is fixated on commercial order type thoughts.

As a tinkerer, the edge connected compute module is overkill and much pricier to implement a 1-off idea, since it requires a custom board for each implementation.
Not quite. If you're a hobbyist do "one off" projects, then any Pi that otherwise fits the constraints will be fine. On the other hand, if you are planning to go into mass production, the CM series is the intended platform.
The PiZero (or even a full Pi) was attractive because using a dozen or so GPIOs didn't require a large hobby budget.
Yup. That's true.
I hear you, "Buy one and go away unless you want to buy 1,000. Even then, we'd prefer you use another ARM SoC platform."
No, that's not really true. It is true of the Pi0 and Pi0W. It is not true for any other Pi. All others in current production, A+, B+, Pi2Bv1.2, Pi3B can be had in whatever quantity you want at their listed price.

The problem is that the Pi0, when it came out was a bit of a tour de force. It was a case of seeing just how cheap an actual computer could be made and sold. At the price chosen--$5--the usual licensee manfacturers didn't want to deal with it. So the RPT/RPF took on the financial burden of getting them made and distributed. That meant (a) limited quantities (the RPF can't afford really large up-front expenditures) and (b) selling in a secondary market...small companies. The Pi0 was an immediate hit. The idea was just too interesting (or cute) to ignore and *everyone* wanted some. So a problem arose... Very high demand, limited supply, and razor thin profit margins. The answer was--at the RPF level--to ask the vendors to ration them to one per person (which was implemented by nearly everyone as "one per order"). The vendors then, looking at those thin margins, sold very few as bare boards and bundled the rest into "kits" of varying utility and cost--with their normal profit margins on the whole kits. This led to an even tighter market. It was all repeated with the Pi0W. Supplies are better now, but there is still the problem of very thin profits at each level.

So...if you're concerned about doing projects that could be done with a Pi0/Pi0W or some other Pi, then use the other Pi. If your project really calls for a Pi0/Pi0W, then develop the project using some other model and swap in a Pi0/Pi0W when you're ready to go.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 10899
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:26 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:24 am
To an extent, I can understand the first one is cheap, repeat purchases must be in bulk, but who has 5 grand (minimum as it is stated the per unit cost is substantially more when buying in bulk) to buy a second Pi0w because their first one broke? I could stand to buy 5 or 10 but not 500. I could even accept the price doubling and the reason being the size factor - a major selling point of the zero.

But of course, my opinions don't matter as they're ineducated opinions - there are very likely reasons why the Pi foundation does things this way, we just don't get told.
Find 49 friends and make a group purchase so that each person in the group gets 10?

(Really....what is needed would be a *public* statement of what the unit price is in lots of 500. Order lead time would be handy as well.)

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