Well, they wouldn't really need to invest that much. Whoever built and assembled the Pip-Boy this time could have done that still, the only thing they really needed to do is purchase a cheap ready to use SoC from an OEM. I honestly think making it a full functioning devices of its own would have been a lot cooler than needing to insert a smartphone at all. Those extra button bits would be easy to get built for you too, it isn't anything too technical. After that is all put together, they would just need software, which they could have made a stand-alone Pip-Boy OS or a modified version of Android.The reason why companies can make aa cheap $50 smartphone and profit is because of volume and capital. If Bethesda devoted $25 million to R&D making a functional Pip-Boy and produced 2 million, then we would be talking about a $60 product. There would also be considerably more happy people who got their PipBoy. But that's some serious investment and post release support.