ASIC technology actually has a big cost in R&D, but in production one chip would cost under $5. If someone else would make an ASIC product, he could be able to sell it at very cheap prices. Difficulty would skyrocket even more. How could people be profitable buying BFL Mini Rig SC units at $30.000?
A Mini Rig SC unit is aprox 5000 chips I believe priced at $6 a chip~ about. That was the math last time someone did it I believe. I didn't do it myself, but that was the speculation from someone know knowledgeable on the subject.