There are Raspberry Pi and other ARM products in the market.
The one of the intention of the 96Boards project was to provide a way to the people to access latest ARM core's technology without going though massing NDA documentations and vendor specific evaluation boards which are much expensive than 96Boards.
We are also in the middle enrich the standardised gpio/i2c and standerdised software with libsoc and libmraa.
Please refer the link.
"Q: How to program devices connecting to GPIO/I2C on 96Boards?"
I think the Raspberry Pi started sometime in 2012 and took two years to become popular, at least in Japan we had to wait until 2014 become popular and able to buy from local distributor.
I personally believe that the 96Boards is having pretty good start.
Also we are also working on the low budget specification.
Lets see the future together.