Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Taking a Piece of the PC Pi(e)

raspberry pi logo photo

Photo by Gijs Peijs

In 2012, the Raspberry Pi Foundation developed a credit card sized, Linux operated computer that cost between $25 – $35 and was meant to be a cheap tool to teach computer literacy for educational institutions. However, it expanded out of it’s initial target market and was soon adopted by techies as a means to build web servers, routers, arcade machines, and other projects. By 2014 the Raspberry Pi Foundation sold over 4.5 million units as well as disrupted the personal computing (PC) industry. The reason for it’s massive popularity is rooted in the fact that there is a segment of overshot customers in the personal computing market. In 2010, the average price of a desktop personal computer was between $500 – $600 and brought with it a huge portfolio of specs and features. However, there were customers that were looking for a stripped down product to work on small projects such as data collection and server monitoring, where the Raspberry Pi fit in nicely. The Raspberry Pi Foundation continues to innovate in the low end segment releasing new iterations of the Raspberry Pi, some with more functionality and some with less but all fall in a price range between $5 and $35.

Do you think that incumbent PC producers should feel threatened by the Raspberry Pi? What do you think the next strategic step is for the Raspberry Pi foundation?


One Response to Taking a Piece of the PC Pi(e)

  • Great explanation Noah. The PC market, in general, has been in decline and the only thing that’s from complete crumble is PC gaming. I don’t think Rasberry Pi poses any threat to PC market. I feel like it’s a separate market on its own that’s very niche. I think it’s a great learning tool for anyone to learn Linux and computer in general as it’s a small factor PC that can be used as servers, tablets, and routers like you described. There are certain uses for it, but without more powerful graphics, it’s not a threat. What can possibly pose a threat, is if Rasberry Pi incorporate new AMD processors that come with Vega graphics. Those APU (accelerated processing unit) can game moderately and beat out some current gen low tier discrete graphics like Nvidia GTX 1050. If Rasberry Pi uses those chips, those little machines will be able to game relatively well and then can pose a threat to general PC market.

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