Or to put it another way you wouldnt invent a new way to desalinate seawater and then say the cost is $10/litre instead of 2 cent because of r&d on the device you made..
Depends on the marketing strategy, most likely. But I like GP's point about undervaluing programmer time. It is non-free and everyone down to the programmers themselves tend to grossly underestimate its cost.
Humans are kind of expensive to keep alive and happy enough to program willingly
/That last statement had more caveats than I wanted...
If I paint my wall, I would generally say it costs the price of the paint, not whatever I'd have to pay to have someone do it for me.
Or what about the people who tinker with their own smart home solutions with arduinos and raspberries. If you factor in the price of work/research/coding, it would be very hard to justify not buying an off-the-shelf solution instead.
That's the mentality I'm challenging here. Mentally you don't account for the cost of your time, but from an outside perspective, you're spending it all the same.
That you have to factor in the price of labor with DIY electronics is the main reason you don't see more of those easy electronics projects available as some off-the-shelf contained product (where's my IoT API-accessible thermometer for $10!!!???).
And then it gets turned around and copyrighted/patented anyways.
So yeah it should cost $.02/gal . It's only cause of profittering goons at every level do essential needs for humans get privatized and 'owned'.