The long-awaited Raspberry Pi is now available to purchase, but currently it's strictly a one-per-customer situation until the rush of orders subside within the next month or so. Eben Upton, Executive Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, reports that they've landed global licensing deals with RS Components and Premier Farnell, under which they will be responsible for all manufacturing and distribution of the Model A and Model B devices.
"The involvement of RS Components and Premier Farnell means that we can build volume much, much faster than would have been possible on our own," adds the Raspberry Pi website. "We are no longer limited to batches of only 10k Raspberry Pis; the Raspberry Pi will now be built to match demand."
"Both Premier Farnell and RS Components have worldwide distribution networks, so wherever you are in the world, you will be able to buy from a local distributor," the site adds. "This will saves you money on shipping; it’s a much better way for you to buy than getting them all shipped from the Foundation in the UK."
The first units to be produced will be the $35 Raspberry Pi Model B which include an additional Ethernet port and two USB ports. The team has also updated the $25 Model A to include 256 MB of RAM, double the original planned specs, which will be going into production immediately.
"We are launching with Model Bs as there has been a much larger demand for them from the community," the team states. "This first launch is aimed at software and hardware enthusiasts, makers, teachers and others who want to build exciting things with the Raspberry Pi before the official educational launch, which will happen later in 2012."
The Raspberry Pi is available at either Premier Farnell or RS Components. However both sites are reportedly experiencing a heavy load (as is the Raspberry Pi website, as the static site has been temporarily changed). International customers may also discover that Raspberry Pi is not available yet in their territory, so customers are asked to be patient and check back in a few hours.
UPDATE: Stock units carried by Premier Farnell sold out within minutes. "We're amazed at the level of interest and sorry so many of you were frustrated today; if you pre-order now, your Pi will be built to order," reads the official Twitter account. RS Components is only taking registrations, and expects to receive its stock soon.
One consumer claims that he pre-ordered the device here in the States from UK-based Newark (part #83T1943), but the lead time is 30 days. Handling fee is also $20 per order, meaning the $35 device becomes a $55 purchase. The handling fee was an error says Newark, and has since been fixed.
Premier Farnell reports that it's seen a 300-percent uplift in web traffic since the Raspberry Pi went live, and over 600 registrations of interest, visits or pre-orders every second. The company is currently offering the Model B only, but will also have two bundles and an accessory pack available soon.