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Raspberry Pi sales hit 11 million - and could overtake Commodore 64

Published 25/11/2016

Dr Eben Upton holds his CBE
Dr Eben Upton holds his CBE

Sales of the Raspberry Pi single-board computer have hit 11 million units in the four-and-a-half years since its release.

Dr Eben Upton, chief executive of Raspberry Pi, made the revelation after he was awarded a CBE for his services to business and education at Buckingham Palace.

Speaking to the Press Association after the investiture ceremony, the 38-year-old from Cambridge said: "We celebrated 10 million in September... and we just went past 11 million - so the curve is continuing to go up, which is nice."

He said the Raspberry Pi was popular in the UK because it "tapped into" a strong sense of computing among adults that stretched back to the 1980s and is being passed to the next generation.

"It would be disappointing if 11 million was where we stop," he said.

"The nice thing is if we do another couple of million, it's a geeky milestone, but we get past the Commodore 64, that is in third place after the PC and the Mac.

"(We could) be the third-most popular computer architecture in history."

The Raspberry Pi Foundation sells about 350,000 to 400,000 units a month, which Dr Upton described as "crazy".

Dr Upton said he never thought it would be this successful and that being able to build all of the machines in the UK, in South Wales, is "massive".

He said: "Out of all of the things, that is probably the biggest surprise for us - that we were able to build them in the UK more cheaply than if we were to build them in China."

The size of a British credit card, the Raspberry Pi is widely used as an educational tool for programming - British astronaut Tim Peake even took one to the International Space Station - but it can also be used for practical purposes such as streaming music to devices in a home.

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