Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton said this week that supply chain issues have hit the firm hard and it won’t ship an updated Raspberry Pi 5 until 2024.
“Don’t expect a Raspberry Pi 5 next year,” Mr. Upton said in a YouTube interview. “Next year is a recovery year. On the one hand, it’s kind of slowed us down. On the other hand, it slowed everything down. So there’s merit, I think, in spending a year before we look at introducing anything … spending a year recovering from what just happened to all of us.”
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The issue was, and is, the supply chain issues that wracked the entire industry during the pandemic as individuals and businesses raced to buy up whatever computers they could so that everyone who could work from home could do so. Those constraints are just now easing up for the biggest tech companies in the world. But Raspberry Pi is not a big company.
“We don’t want people to get on a waiting list,” Upton said of the next Pi device. “We want people to wake up in the morning, want a Raspberry Pi, then get one at 9 am the next morning.”
Previous to the pandemic, Raspberry Pi was on a fairly predictable roll: it issued the Raspberry Pi 4 in June 2019, for example, followed by an updated Pi 4 with 8 GB of RAM in May 2020, and following a faster Pi 3 in 2018. But the firm has had little to say—and even less in the way of new products to release—since. The only major new release during the pandemic was the Raspberry Pi 400, in November 2020.
Raspberry Pi availability is still highly constrained. Some lower-end devices, like the Pi 3A+ and a Pi Zero 2 W, can be found online with a bit of digging. But the flagship Pi 4 is nowhere to be found, leading to a number of near-clones and competitors, most of which are likewise supply-constrained.
Mr. Upton addressed the supply chain issues separately in a blog post last week.
“As a thank-you to our army of very patient enthusiast customers in the run-up to the holiday season this year, we’ve been able to set aside a little over a hundred thousand units, split across Zero W, 3A+ and the 2 GB and 4 GB variants of Raspberry Pi 4, for single-unit sales,” he wrote at the time. (The Pi 4 models quickly sold out, of course.) “Things are certainly improving … As we go through , it is likely that you’ll see Zero and Zero W come back into general availability first, followed by products like Raspberry Pi 3A+ which do not have an extensive industrial customer base; and, finally, the various versions of Raspberry Pi 4.”