BeagleBoneBlack supply explained and more…

1278 Lrg-2
Due to supply issues with BeagleBoneBlack we’ve limited sales to one per customer and we do not allow back orders (we’ve been doing this for awhile now). Other sites are allowing backorders however it can be weeks or several months until the orders are filled, at this time Mouser has/had over 14,000 on back order. This is post is to give you an idea of the supply, the challenges and information directly from Gerald @ TI (Texas Instruments and the he is the Co-founder of Designer of the BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM, BeagleBone, and BeagleBone Black – he has been providing information in the BeagleBoneBlack Google Groups and has been very helpful to us at Adafruit during this exciting time of high demand for BeagleBoneBlack.

Here are the shipment numbers.

March 2014 Shipments……..6,175
February 2014 Shipments….13,050
January 2014 Shipments…..13,575
December 2013 Shipments….7,192
November 2013 Shipments….9,298
October 2013 Shipments…..7,698

Read on for more information and some details from the BeagleBoneBlack Google groups.

WE DID NOT DESIGN THE BOARD FOR USE IN PRODUCTS. We cannot therefore guarantee that it will work in products. We provide NO support for using this board in a product.
ALL design materials are Open Source and easily accessible. Everything is provided to build your own board. You can make changes as needed or use it as is. It is your product when you use these materials. 
Feel free to build the board yourself at your contract manufacturer of choice. If you have questions on any of this, you can contact Gerald Coley

If you check out the Google groups you can get a history and day-by-day account of the challenges of getting this board out to companies like Adafruit, again – this is why we limit it to one per customer and do not take back orders at this time.

Google Groups.

Pick a distributor. Place an order. Do not wait until they show stock.  We are basically keeping up with the back logs at most of the distributors. As you can see we ship 700 per day and no one shows stock. Ever wonder why that is? We have 140,000 board back log at this time. A lot of those orders have only come in the last couple of months. Lead times on some parts is 26 weeks. capacity is not the issue.

Parts are an issue. Lead times on some of these are 26 weeks out. So it is not possible to ramp up to the 1500 per day that we did before the distributors asked us to back off. I takes a while to fill the pipeline. And as there is not profit in the board, we can’t just pay expedite fees on parts and PCBs to get them in here faster like we did on the other three boards. No desire to ship money out the door with every board. Just because we have orders on the books, does not mean distributors will take everything they have on order immediately. They want them scheduled out. 

We are focused on the community. Fell free to build it yourself however. All the materials to build it are provided for free and you don’t have to pay any development costs.

We have doubled our production over the last two months to 3,000 per week. But that is about as good as it is going to get. We still have people sucking up 100s of boards for use in products and we have not found a way to stop that. We are building them and we are shipping them as fast as we can. They just aren’t getting to people that we want to have them.

We cannot increase supply. We are maxed out. Why? Well, because we can’t find another CM that will make the board for no profit. SO, unless we increase the price we cannot increase supply. If you don’t understand this, well I can’t help that.

We have doubled our production over the last two months to 3,000 per week. But that is about as good as it is going to get. We still have people sucking up 100s of boards for use in products and we have not found a way to stop that. We are building them and we are shipping them as fast as we can. They just aren’t getting to people that we want to have them.

Expedite fees? Well we used to do that on the earlier boards. But there is zero buffer on these boards. The idea of loosing say $700,000 is not something that makes a lot of sense. Having deals and POs in place with distributors and then telling them, Oh sorry, you have to pay more is tough. I am thinking of maybe taking the price to say $75 in the future.

I work for TI.

Gerald works for TI in case you are wondering and is doing a great job trying to deal something completely out of his control. Gerald, if you’re reading this – we limited ours to 1 per customer and are not taking back orders, we realize you cannot ask other distributors to do this, but this has helped get the most Adafruit customers BeagleBoneBlacks in hand for now. This post is to better explain to customers why and how we needed to do this.

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