When a hardware product is released there should be an OS that at the very least supports all of the onboard modules and devices. The Rock Pi 4C+ doesn’t. Unless I am missing something the 4C+ doesn’t have one Linux Distro that supports WiFi, VNC, or CUPS on installation. This is a shame. Sales would be much stronger if one could reliably download a distro and have the unit boot ready to go. History has shown that and operating system can make or break hardware success.
Absolutely, these are de facto bricks, without software
I agree that the manufacturer shouldn’t stop working on an OS until all hardware components are supported, but VNC and CUPS are not at all specific to the hardware. Take the kernel from Radxa and run your favorite aarch64 distro.
Majority of OS functions (99%) is not a work or under control of a few people that assembles SoC (whole custom computer) to the PCB. This primer work is done by chip maker, some by them, while big majority (of primarily general common things) is done by community. They do tiny adjustments to peripherals used around SoC.
Software support is significant more expensive (luckily covered by thousands of volunteers of open source) and different then making HW. Primary because its hard to define limits, “customers” requests have no end and have absolutely no perception on what they are asking. Its not unusual that one person asks for services (for free) that exceeds yearly income of one maker. Ofc that can’t be delivered. Top quality software that you download and run? Possible, but perhaps you need to support software developers, not asking HW sellers what they can’t deliver.
Without heavy sponsoring from community, support would be a lot worse. Raspberry would never be this successful in SW support with 1M+ users … and also there things doesn’t always works. This is Linux after all.
That’s why I didn’t mention WiFi in my reply. Radxa combined chips from different vendors and failed to get the combination working properly. If they can’t fix it themselves, they should leverage their business relation to the chip vendors to make them fix the issue.
They only sell what is possible to sell. If they would took something that works well, you would not buy because numbers and performance would be low (old proven wifi chip with top notch support). If they go for latest and greatest, ofc. software is not there yet but numbers and promises are everything you need to throw money at.
I won’t predict what they should do but its pretty logical - for better support from chip vendors, they would need to pay more and that more they need to charge to someone or close the business down. HW buyers only pays for the BOM + small margin, which can’t cover software support on the high end level home plug and play users, new to Linux, expects. Not without extensive support from 3rd party software players and community. tl;dr; You are complaining to wrong people. They make nice hardware and many thanks for that.
This is the thing that lots of people miss when promoting some new hardware as “The New RPi” or “RPi Beater” or whatever.
The hardware really isn’t the thing - it’s the software support and the community that really makes the difference. Things like the Rock 4C+ really aren’t there yet.
Aren’t they, Redxa, being deceptive? Their product name is “Rock Pi” yet it doesn’t run the Pi OS.