Image if you invest on a stock without a potential, are you willing to put your money in? An Firmware updates do matter.
Which brings us to the third variable in the cost of an android TV Box or Mini PC: The answer is licenses.
In order to put a an/ android device/Mini PC on the market you need to pay not only for the hardware/PCBA, but also for a lot of other intangible things.
Does your device play Mp3 files? you need to pay for the license. DTS? need to pay again. DVD, BluRay ISO? more money need to be paid.
Does you mini PC have a wi-fi chip? Need to pay Sisvel a fee.
How about HDMI, does you mini PC have an HDMI port? if so, you need to pay US$10,000 per year.
And these are just a few examples.
Will it surprise you to hear that many Chinese brands simply ignore this? and that there are some very established brands that are not part of "HDMI Adopters" although all products they sell have HDMI ports?
Licensing costs might make your product cost 10-15 USD for each unit - and in a very competitive market as these little devices are in, that's a LOT. Not to mention the end-user price is usually below $100, so licensing costs are a big chunk of the end user price.
That's why some manufacturers have two versions for the same product, one for "local market" (China) and one for "overseas" - in China not having all licenses paid isn't the end of the world, while doing the same for a product sold in Germany, for instance, might get them into trouble.
There you go, that's why what looks to be the same product is sold on the same online store for very different prices : more established brands (like Zidoo) will pay for their own development team, and will pay for (most of) the licenses used. The cheaper ones do not.
That's not to say that all MiniPC's are in one of the above situations. But that's the general idea.
So, knowing his, do you still think that breaking a GPL code is such a big thing?
Well it is. Breaking GPL means you profit form other people's work, which is not fair, is it?