The Raspberry Pi, $35 darling of the Linux development community, finally entered into production early in February with the goal of being in consumer hands by the end of the month. The miniature computer is barely more than a system-on-a-chip with a 700MHz processor and the GPU power to handle XBMC, with a few basic ports (HDMI, USB, Ethernet) tacked on to make the Raspberry Pi an ideal development platform for home electronics projects. Raspberry Pi was able to get its product up for sale in February, but this Tuesday's launch didn't go as planned.
Overwhelming demand crippled the two websites offering the Raspberry Pi on Tuesday. They're finally back online, but neither are offering the computer for outright sale just yet. If you're eager to get your hands on one, get a pre-order in now. Demand will likely outpace the production capacity of Raspberry's production partners in China.
Raspberry Pi's sales partners, Premier Farnell and RS Components, are currently operational and allow interested buyers the opportunity to register an interest in the Model B, which is the first to enter production. Farnell notes that it's already sold through its initial stock--registering your interest will allow you to pre-order a Raspberry when more arrive.
Stocks from Raspberry Pi of the initial production quantity are limited and these have already sold out. For those of you who have already pre-ordered, we will let you know in the next few days when you can expect your delivery. We're working very closely with Raspberry Pi to ensure we meet the demand as soon as possible.
The initial batch of Raspberry Pis were manufactured in China but distributed through the above companies. In the future, those companies will handle manufacturing as well as distribution, which will hopefully smooth over delay issues after the first run of computers are sold.