like bill says rpi zero is effectively vaporware. basically a marketing scam from rpi company to promote the magazine and excite interest in new release of unrelated products like rpi3. nobody has ever obtained one for the advertised $5 or able to buy more than one at a time even at the inflated 3x-4x prices. and never will i predict. not normal production backlog but, as i said, marketing scam.
btw digispark are $1 on ebay and m8 with considerably more resources about half that in small qty. its m328 based boards like promini that run $2.
arm products like maple etc even more speed, io, and memory, about the same cost but like pi has nasty architecture and toolset. at least compared to avr/arduino which will not be going away soon contrary to predictions from internet pundits.
@john1993, I found your response very useful!!
like bill says rpi zero is effectively vaporware.
I have one on my desk. True, I had to pay 4 GBP for air shipping about 20 grams, of which 9 grams was the board and the rest the bubble-wrapped ridiculously oversized envelope. It's hard to emphasize how small and light this is: A standard sheet of laser-printer paper of the usual thickness, either US "letter" size or international "A4" size, weighs 4.5 grams. So board itself weighs the equivalent of 2 sheets of printing paper. Packaged in packaging weighing an additional 2 sheets of paper for a total of 4 sheets of printing paper in weight, I was charged 4 GBP for this shipping cost. I checked the shipping company and it should have been 1 GBP. So, I paid 7 GBP (1 GBP actual shipping costs, 3 GBP of price hidden into the shipping cost, and 4 GBP of price.) I'm not complaining.
All that said, I am curious whether $5 is enough to actually produce a board. In a quantity of 1m could an ARM chip be produced in your opinion?
Same size or smaller in every dimension as Raspberry Pi Zero. PCB can be thinner. No camera connector required.
Same pinout (HAT).
Best specs possible that come as close, even if ultimately falling short (such as 256MB ram or even half or a quarter of it)
Price as close to $4.99 + $1.20 as possible.
Lower weight if possible
Same power profile or lower
Secondly, I'd like to talk about the $1.20 part.
You mentioned the digispark which is based on an attiny85, available in for $0.68 in modest quantity (2.5 ku).
I think that is a great board, but I notice it's only 8-bit. This means that it's limited to a range of 256 analog values, which seems low to me.
How much higher is the price jump to move into the exact same thing but with the requirement that it run at 10, 12, 14, or 16 bits?
Can that still come in at under $1.20?
In summary, I'm asking whether in a quantity of 1m or 10m a board like the raspberry pi zero with an attached subsystem like the digispark but at 10, 12, 14 or 16 bits, could be made for $4.99 + $1.20 for the two subsytems printed on the same board? Is it possible to get even lower than that?
Assume zero profit or margin.
Thanks for any information.