The biggest impediment of rPi is that it is available from only one place due to Broadcomm hold on the processor and the personal union between Broadcom and the rPi Foundation (both run by the same person). Broadcomm has killed the competing rPi clones by simply refusing to sell the CPUs to the independent developers. Even if Broadcomm changed this policy (which I have not heard of), you simply cannot trust the chip vendor with this track record.

IMHO, investing any effort into rPi is a dead alley if you have any plans of “selling these boards to rural Africa”. Simply put, you are at the mercy of a single source who has a track record of using dirty practices against the competition. This is contrary to the idea of open design.

I am currently working on a BeagleBone which I selected precisely because I can buy the processor chips from Texas Instruments who has never refused to sell their chips to anyone. I am not impressed with performance, quad core or whatever. My only concern is whether I can build what I design, and then “sell to rural Africa”. Therefore, the rPi is completely ruled out forever.

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