January 10, 2012 AT 9:29 pm

Raspberry Pi manufacturing update

Pt 428

Raspberry Pi manufacturing update. Looks like there should be some in early 2012 – It doesn’t appear possible to make them anywhere but China and to meet their $25 price point…

… Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things, and it’s an issue we’ve taken up with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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  1. They may still manufacture the A model (originally slated for $25) in the UK, but the B model (ethernet capable and $35 price point) manufacturing for the first 10K units will go to China 🙁

  2. the problem with UK manufacturing is not the import taxes, which are same for whole EU and are few percents, but the labor in UK which is GBP 15/hour vs GBP 0.15 /hour in China
    I do not see anything wrong UK companies to manufacture abroad, everyone have to set his priorities what he wants to do – to work with his hands for peanuts or with his head and to be in more profitable segment.

  3. Will the adafruit shop be carrying these?

  4. @tastewar – we’d like to evaluate the hardware first 🙂

  5. I know of a few UK electronics companies who are shifting production to Europe…mainly Poland. It can be done the problem is just that with the Rasberry PI they are making the device so cheap to buy that their profit margins are exceedingly tight. As above, Tax is not the issue, the cost of labour is.

  6. Fair enough! I hope you get an early one and that the eval goes well. It sounds like an intriguing platform at the price point they’re hoping to hit. Sort of an alternative to OLPC.

    Oy, these resistors! Love the idea, but tough for those of us who struggle with color. Or at least for me. But I am human, really!! Try #3 now…

  7. If it was built in the UK the wages will not be £15 an hour. Nearly the entire board is manufactureable using a machine. Minimum wage in the UK is about £6 an hour. Add employers NI and its say £10 an hour. But how many can be produced in an hour per person? I can believe that tax can be an issue and that its across Europe and everyone here gets hit the same doesn’t really help much.

  8. Lots of numbers in the comments, but absolutely zero numbers in the official statement. I find this curious since the decision seems to revolve very much around a target number (price).

    Why not disclose how much more, exactly, it would cost to make it in the UK and perhaps consider giving consumers a choice to appeal to those that might put a little politics into their purchases?

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