They have started manufacture on Raspberry Pi which means they should be up for sale at then end of January, just in time for my birthday!!
They originally intended for the manufacture to be done in the UK, but they've had a number of issues with this. Turnaround for manufacture in the UK is 12-14 weeks (only 3-4 weeks in the Far East). And the pricing in the UK is prohibitive, so much so, that they'd end up having to sell them at a loss, not good for any business.
But on top of this, if they wanted to build the machines in the UK, the import tax on the components is far greater than the import tax on the completed boards. That seems strange to me, giving companies who manufacture abroad a tax break, compared to companies who want to bring manufacturing jobs into the UK. From a business point of view, why would anybody want to manufacture anything in the UK given those kinds of details?
They haven't completely ruled out UK manufacture, but it's just not economically feasible at the moment.
Read the full (and more eloquent) story here.
Following on from this, an e-petition has been created on the Direct Gov website to try and change import duty rules to encourage British manufacturing.
Check it out here, and if you agree, please sign.