Eben Upton fields questions on the future of the Raspberry Pi Zero, manufacturing in the UK, his transition from software to hardware, and more!
You asked, he answered!
Raspberry Pi founder and CEO Eben Upton has responded to questions submitted by Slashdot readers. Read on for his answers.
What is the future of manufacturing in the UK?
The Raspberry Pi is quite famously manufactured in the UK. Is this still a long term strategy or have recent events such as the Brexit and the rise of Pi competitors forced a review of the future of manufacturing in the UK?
EU: We’ve always said that we build Raspberry Pi in the UK because it makes economic sense, not because we are patriotic. That continues to be the case, and interestingly the short term exchange rate movements following the Brexit vote have made UK manufacturing more competitive, not less. I don’t believe we’ll see significant tariff barriers to importing Raspberry Pi into mainland Europe from the UK post-Brexit: remember we export successfully to lots of places (US, Japan, China) with whom the EU doesn’t have a free trade deal.
Chinese manufacture makes sense if you’re building for the Far Eastern market, as many of the board components come from there and it’s not necessarily economic to ship parts to the UK and then finished product all the way back. In the case of low-touch products for sale in Europe and North America, serious tier-one manufacturers like Sony can achieve lower total cost. I strongly believe that a lot of companies continue to offshore to China out of a sort of superstitious belief, not because it actually makes sense.
So no, I don’t think we will stop manufacturing in the UK any time soon.
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