Hours after announcing the availability of the Raspberry Pi, Premier Farnell and RS Components alerted customers they were sold out. The companies say future orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A spokeswoman for Premier Farnell told us in an e-mail that the initial global allocation for the Raspberry Pi was “rather small and not enough to satisfy the kind of demand we’re already seeing. Keep in mind that this is not a normal product line introduction, and we’ll be shipping as many as we can, as soon as we soon.”
Pre-orders for the Raspberry Pi are being accepted at element14.com/raspberrypi and will be honored as quickly as possible, she said. “We’ll have clearer visibility of stock soon, which element14 will share on the community.”
Catalog distributors typically stock everything they promote on their Websites. Catalogs are the primary destination for quick, small-volume orders for labs, engineers, and DIY enthusiasts. It is uncommon for a catalog house to be sold out of a device.
Volume-level distributors, such as Arrow and Avnet, take orders based on forecasts and lead times. Therefore, customers are accustomed to receiving products weeks after they are ordered.
However, the Raspberry Pi is not a typical electronics product. RS describes the Raspberry Pi as a credit card-sized computer created as an educational tool to re-ignite interest in building and customizing computers. Robert Mullins, cofounder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, demonstrates how easy it is to use in the video below:
“The opportunity to engage a new generation of engineers and computer experts is very much in our sweet spot as a company,” Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, said in a press release. “Through our element14 Community we will encourage everyone from developers, modders, coders and programmers to discuss, share and develop their ideas and fully utilize the game-changing potential of the Raspberry Pi computer.”
Premier Farnell, the parent company of element14, has a large audience of “modders” and DIY enthusiasts. It broadcasts the DIY/invention-oriented Ben Heck Show on its Website and engages engineers through the elemnet14 Web community.
RS is also accepting pre-orders for the Raspberry Pi at uk.rs-online.com/web/.