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Good luck getting hold of the latest Raspberry Pi this Christmas (or even next)

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Low-cost Raspberry Pi computers make for an excellent Christmas gift for the programmer, but component shortages and supply chain issues are making the latest models difficult to find.

As reported by The Register, some retailers (including Mouser and Digi-Key) are estimating they will be unable to ship the Raspberry Pi 4B with 4GB RAM until 2023, suggesting buyers might even be left empty-handed next holiday season too.

Other official distributors, such as Adafruit, are out of stock of the popular 4GB SKU, while Okdo has withdrawn the model from its website entirely. The only places TechRadar Pro was able to find a brand new Raspberry Pi 4B with 4GB RAM at recommended retail price was at ThePiHut and Farnell (which has a poor rating on Trustpilot).

Raspberry Pi shortages

A number of factors have combined to create the Raspberry Pi shortage, including the allocation of limited chip manufacturing capacity to larger players and shipping issues caused by supply chain bottlenecks.

This state of affairs forced Raspberry Pi to limit production to seven million units for 2021 and implement its first ever price hike, which saw the cost of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 rise from $35 to $45.

In the same blog post, the company explained the shortages would likely affect older Pi models most acutely.

“We’re now expecting our supply chain challenges to continue through much of 2022,” wrote Eben Upton, CEO. “These challenges will fall most heavily on our older products, built on 40nm silicon: in practice, anything that isn’t a Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400, or Compute Module 4.”

However, current stock levels suggest the Raspberry Pi 4 is equally difficult to come by at the moment, perhaps as a result of a surge in purchases ahead of the holidays.

TechRadar Pro has asked Raspberry Pi for fresh estimates as to when shortages of its latest computers might end.

Joel Khalili is a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He's interested in receiving pitches around cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, storage, internet infrastructure, mobile, 5G and business hardware.