Price is a fundamental part of the Raspberry Pi's charm. It may not be the most powerful computer you can get your hands on, even though it's capable of some amazing things, but it's so cheap that it can be used without worrying about the cost. Which makes news about a price increase that little bit tougher to bear.
In a blog post (opens in new tab) on the official site, Eben Upton, the head honcho of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is keen to point out, "These changes in pricing are not here to stay. As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can."
The price increase only affects one particular RPi model, namely the 2GB version of the Raspberry Pi 4. This originally cost $35 when it was introduced, and has been selling well at that price. Possibly too well. Due to supply shortages, the Raspberry Pi Foundation can no longer afford to produce them at that price, and so have had to increase the price to $45.
The price to fabricate a chip has reportedly been increasing as of late, in a large part due to the ongoing chip supply crisis (opens in new tab). That's already wreaked havoc on budget PC gaming, and now other cheap chips are seemingly feeling the pressure.
To help mitigate this price increase, the company is reintroducing the 1GB version of the RPi 4, which was retired in February 2020. This is being reintroduced at $35, meaning you now have a choice of which RPi to go for—stick at the same $35 price point and get 1GB of RAM, or go up to $45 for the 2GB model.
Pricing for the 4GB and 8GB models remains unchanged at $55 and $75 respectively. These two models are better options if you want to use the RPi 4 as a desktop PC, as the extra memory makes a big difference to how responsive they are.