The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a price drop for its last-generation Model B+ single-board computer, dropping the manufacturers suggested retail price to just $25.
When the original Raspberry Pi Model B launched, it did so in the UK at a sub-£30 price-point none of its competition could match. While its Broadcom BCM2835 single-core processor used an outdated microarchitecture and offered slow performance, it was enough to run a fully-functional Linux desktop - and the ease with which simple hardware could be connected to the general-purpose input-output (GPIO) port won it popularity with hackers and makers. A doubling of RAM followed, along with the launch of a cut-price Model A lacking network support and having only one USB port; these were followed by Plus variants, boasting an extended 40-pin GPIO header, bug-fixed design and in the Model B+ four USB ports.
Each had in common the BCM2835, but the launch of the Raspberry Pi 2 brought something new: the BCM2836, a drop-in replacement designed by Broadcom specifically for the device and offering four ARM Cortex-A7 cores. Impressively, despite the vastly improved performance and compatibility - including support for Windows 10 IoT Core for the first time - the device was still priced at the £30 mark. Hardware makers who had come to rely on the older Model B+ were reassured that production would continue alongside its successor, but with very little price difference between the two there was only one real choice for most customers.
Addressing that issue, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced
that the Model B+ is getting a price cut from $35 to $25. This price reduction is expected to filter through the channel in the coming weeks, with production partner RS Components sending the new price live today
at £19.20 with free next-day delivery compared with £31.92 for the faster Raspberry Pi 2.
Describing the cut as 'a side effect of the production optimisations that allowed us to hit the $35 target price for Raspberry Pi 2,
' the Foundation's official new list prices begin with the Model A+ at $20, hit the mid-range with the Model B+ at $25, and top out with the Raspberry Pi 2 at $35. No price cut for the Model A+ has been announced.