CEO Eben Upton praises expanding DIY tech market

Raspberry Pi passes two million unit mark

The £20 mini PC Raspberry Pi has passed two million units, with the CEO praising an expanding market.

Following the news that one million Raspberry Pi computers had been produced in the UK, Eben Upton told PCR that the total number produced was actually double that figure.

“We’ve actually passed the two million mark overall,” he said.

“We used to build them in China, like everyone else, but a year ago we moved our manufacturing back to the UK, so we’ve now made over a million Raspberry Pis in the UK, in South Wales, and fully re-shored our manufacturing back in the UK. So it’s been maybe two to three times larger than we imagined.”

The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed as a charity in order to provide children with an affordable way to learn how to program. The £20 board includes USB and HDMI outputs and network connectivity (on the slight more expensive model), and comes pre-installed with an operating system based on the open-source Linux platform, as well as the programming tool Scratch.

Upton added that he expected Christmas to be successful for the Pi, as the device widens its appeal.

“Christmas last year was great – they make a great Christmas gift as a high-end stocking filler,” he explained, adding that the Pi had gained popularity among older users as a cheap media PC.

"This Christmas we’ve spent time grinding off the performance issues. Compared to last year, you’d hardly recognise it as being the same piece of hardware.”

“We’re [also] making it easier to get involved for people who are just getting started using Raspberry Pi – particularly children – who don’t have access to someone who has programming experience, in order to broaden the appeal of the device and eliminate those learning curves.”

Some of the growth could be attributed to a resurgence in the DIY tech market, with the Pi and the programmable open-source platform Arduino leading the way.

Despite the increasing amount of companies joining the space, however, Upton added that he wasn’t worried about facing competition.

“The more people come and do stuff in this space, the bigger the market gets,” he said.

“[But] it’s going to be a while before people start fighting over this market, because the market is growing so rapidly and everyone bringing something to the market is bringing something new.”

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