In what applications does a Pi3 come close to a RockPi4? Name some out of interest?
With USB 3.0 SSD the performance is much better than MicroSD but there are clear reasons why M.2 and Sata have huge preference over them.
Raspberry started with an education emphasis but now are purely Broadcom commercial orientated that use a false flag of education on a duped community.
I used to be a massive Raspberry fan but now see much of what they do as RS which is an acronym of its own right Raspberry Shit.
The proprietary RS of VC4 continues through the RS of VC6 and it will be the same hollow promises of VC4 opensource that will never transpire.
A huge army of contributors will graft on a project for Raspberry to capitalise and focus on its commercial activities and it really sickens me they do this under a banner of education.
There is a reason they have released the not until 2020 product just before the release of kernel 5.2 and the current model is a failure for the expectations of modern education.
The lack of PCIe through M.2 will have effect on the whole SBC market as it will not garner the plethora of focus the form factor standard sets.
The design is totally reactionary to the current Arm/Mali SBC offerings and rather than setting new scope for this arena, they have launched a blocking product rather than evolution.
The price is great but reading between the lines of how and why Raspberry have reacted and taking that as an indication on how they wish to proceed, its likely when the shininess of the Pi4 starts to dim quite a number of commentators for a number of reasons will not look so fondly on Raspberry mainly due to Broadcom.
I have a Pi4 on order because I am confused and bewildered how they are going to run a 4 core A72 with USB drive on 15watt max, its going to be interesting to see.
The focus for Radxa should be as it is keeping the best 4.4 kernel it can and leapfrogging the Pi to mainline and the latest LTS which will be likely 5.3.
There are always 2 sides to a story and this might be great for Rockchip users as we may see price reduction and 2020 is likely to bring on the RK3588 octacore 4xA76/4xA55 8nm with a MaliG52@8K with NPU.
The reason why the Pi4 has debuted early is an indication how strong other Arm/Mali SBC are right now and what is looking like a knee-jerk product might actually have opposite effect than you suggest.