The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that the Model A version of Raspberry Pi is now available for purchase in Europe via RS Components and Premier Farnell/element14 .
The Model A is a stripped down version of the Model B Raspberry Pi. It features one USB port and 256MB RAM and ditches the Ethernet connectivity present in the Model B. Of course, the fact that it's a stripped down Model B means it's also cheaper. The Model A will retail for $10 less than the Model B, at $25, and it also consumes less power. According to RPF, you're looking at roughly one third of the power that the Model B consumes. The Raspberry Pi crew says they're working to get power consumption even lower than that.
If you're outside of Europe and looking to get your hands on the Model A, you're going to be a bit disappointed to hear that, for the time being, the Model A is a Europe-only affair. RPF did say that RS customers outside Europe can order their Model A now but noted that there would be a short delay due to paperwork. Additionally, Farnell customers outside Europe (Newark in the US) will see Model A appear on their local sites when this paperwork has been filled.
Talking about the Model A back in November, Raspberry Pi Foundation's Liz Upton said they're expecting those buying the Model A will have different applications for the board compared to Model B owners.
"We’re anticipating that those of you who buy the Model A will be using it for different applications from Model B owners. Model A has no Ethernet and only one USB slot – and importantly, it consumes much less power than a Model B because the Ethernet chip’s missing," she said. "We're seeing demand for the Model A from people making industrial control modules, from roboticists, from people doing automation, for a bunch of headless operations – and, significantly, for people who want to use the Pi as a very cheap media centre."
Raspberry Pi was originally intended to be a low cost PC aimed at teaching young children the ins and outs of computer programming. However, the cheap and cheerful board captured the hearts of developers and PC enthusiasts the world over and demand for Raspberry Pi was high. Last month, the Raspberry Pi Foundation revealed some early details on sales figures.