Raspberry Pi faces challenge from Android-based rivals

Updated on: 2012-05-23 || Source: bbc.com

The Raspberry Pi computer faces fresh competition from two Asian micro-PC rivals.

Taiwan's Via Technologies has announced plans to sell the APC. Like the Pi it comes with its motherboard exposed and is designed to be connected to a TV or monitor.

It follows the MK802 - an enclosed PC-on-a-stick from China's Rikomagic - which went on sale last week.

Both new devices use the Android system, while the Pi runs Linux.

Some analysts believe that means the British-designed Pi machine will remain a favourite with educators.

"There's a much bigger amateur community writing code for the Linux system," said Paul O'Donovan, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"It's much easier to program on and therefore a better way to introduce people to the basics of writing software and experimenting with computers."

The Android-based devices will, however, benefit from the wealth of software available for Google's operating system.

Pocket PCs

Via says the APC will be sold for $49 (£31) when it begins shipping in July.

It features 2GB of flash memory storage and runs an "optimised" version of Android 2.3. It measures 17cm by 8.5cm (6.7in by 3.3in)

The firm boasts that it only consumes up to 13.5 watts of power, a tenth of that consumed by a standard PC system.

Mikomagic MK802
Rikomagic's MK802 comes enclosed in a case and offers higher specifications than its rivals

By contrast, the MK802 is being advertised for $79, but offers higher specifications with 4GB of storage - upgradable to 32GB, as well as built-in wireless connectivity and the newer Android 4.0 system.

It measures 8.8cm by 3.5cm and is described as "the smallest volume Google TV player".

New market

The Raspberry Pi - which is advertised for $25 - remains the cheapest option. That reflects the fact that it is a not-for-profit project by a charitable foundation, as well as its reliance on separate SD cards for storage.

All three systems are based on chip designs by the low-power specialist ARM Holdings.

"System on chip designs can do an awful lot these days and we will probably see more of these devices coming out," said Mr O'Donovan,

"Memory, processors and connectivity slots have all become much cheaper.

"So these micro-PCs are inexpensive to make, and Chinese manufacturers are always looking to enter high-growth markets and secure sales even if their margins are low."

Others outside Asia are also trying to break into the nascent market.

Norway's FXI Technologies plans to release the USB-stick sized Cotton Candy PC later this year, while Intel plans to launch a new budget platform called "Next Unit of Computing" in the second half of the year.


Blackphone 2 'privacy' Android handset revamped
Security firm Silent Circle has revamped its smartphone that helps people manage personal data.
Chinese smartphones mount massive web attack
More than 650,000 Chinese smartphones have been unwittingly enrolled in a massive attack that overwhelmed a web
Hilton investigates hack claims
The Hilton hotel group has said it is investigating claims its US shops and gift stores may be the source of
Twitter website 'blocked' in Turkey
Twitter users in Turkey report that the social media site has been blocked in the country.


Sign up to received our free newsletter!
E-mail ID:


Views: 5009 Times
Spelling and Grammar Checking in Word 2007 READ MORE
Views: 2749 Times
Facebook flaw bypasses password protections READ MORE
Views: 3620 Times
Blackphone 2 'privacy' Android handset revamped READ MORE
Views: 5850 Times
Add A Photo To My Computer Properties READ MORE
Views: 7538 Times
Computer Tricks READ MORE

Home|IT News|Computer Tips|Video Tutorials|Download Softwares|Subjects|Contact Us
Copyright © 2019. Jumbo Education (Information Technology). All rights reserved.
Free counter and web stats

Large Visitor Globe