“Don’t expect a Pi 5 next year. Next year is a recovery year,” the CEO said. “There’s merit, I think, in us spending a year before we look at introducing anything new, spending a year recovering from what just happened to all of us.”
“Next year is a recovery year”
While there have been supply chain problems across much of the technology sector, Raspberry Pi has been a particularly high profile example. Its miniature computers, which are purchased by both businesses to power their products, as well as by customers directly, have been exceptionally difficult to buy off the shelf for the 18 months thanks to knock-on effects of the pandemic like the global chip shortage. While the company has continued to be able to supply these business customers, supplies to hobbyists have suffered.
The danger, Upton explains, is that introducing a new product while the company is still recovering risks production of the new device not being able to ramp up properly to meet demand. It might even risk “cannibalizing” supply of existing models, by competing for resources like testing capacity or packaging. That would be “a disaster” he says.
“We’re going to be very ginger about how we look to move forward,” the CEO explains. Upton has previously said that he expects supply to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the second quarter of 2023. Speaking to Explaining Computers, Upton said that the company should be able to start thinking about the Pi 5 in the second half of next year or 2024.
There are signs that the situation is already starting to improve. Earlier this month, the company announced some improvements to its supply chain channels, noting that it’s been able to set aside “a little over a 100,000 units” for purchase by enthusiasts. “While we’re not quite out of the woods yet, things are certainly improving,” Upton wrote.
It’s been over three years since Raspberry Pi introduced the Pi 4 in 2019, which already represents a large time gap between generational updates. A delay until 2024 or later means there may end up being four or even five years between the Pi 4 and Pi 5.