1m Raspberry Pi computers sold

Figures released by Raspberry Pi distributor Premier Farnell suggest that one million units of the credit-card-sized Linux computer have sold since it was launched, the Raspberry Pi Foundation said on Tuesday.

Premier Farnell announced last week that it has manufactured more than 500,000 Raspberry Pis since February 2012, and that there is no sign of a slowdown in demand. “It seems, every time we talk about the Raspberry Pi, we say it has been a true phenomenon, but it genuinely has,” said Mike Buffham, Global Head of EDE at Premier Farnell.

Premier Farnell is one of just two official distributors of Raspberry Pi, the other being RS Components. “We don’t have completely up-to-date figures from RS Components yet, but Farnell’s news suggests that we’re well on the way to having sold our millionth Raspberry Pi,” wrote Liz Upton, Marketing Manager, Raspberry Pi Foundation, in a blog post.

The Raspberry Pi has helped to drive a new wave of enthusiasm for computer programming. With a motherboard no bigger than a credit card, the computer is extremely cheap, but it is capable of running basic word processing and Internet applications.

The computer has basic input, display and networking ports, and can run Linux flavours including Fedora, Debian and ArchLinux. It has been touted by some as an inexpensive way to replace home theatre PCs or low-power Windows desktops for basic Internet and productivity applications.

However, the primary aim of the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation is to promote computer programming – something that the UK government is also supporting with moves to introduce programming into the school curriculum.

“The younger generation has demonstrated significant intrigue in learning how to build and program their own computer device. And what has been great to see is the enormous growth in the hobbyist market,” said Eben Upton, co-founder, Raspberry Pi Foundation.

At the end of last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation opened a dedicated App Store for the Linux-powered device, which it said would make it easier for developers of all ages to share their games, applications, tools and tutorials with the rest of the community.

Premier Farnell also announced recently that the Raspberry Pi would be manufactured in the UK, making it the first all-British personal computer for nearly two decades.

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