Thank you for your thoughts! The argument is that off-the-shelf hardware and FPGAs save both time and upfront cost during the prototyping stage, and may be economical for production depending on the number of deployed units and price sensitivity. While squeezing out every bit of cost may be advantageous in a volume scenario (as with your iPhone example), in lower volume designs or less cost sensitive markets deploying with FPGAs and/or off-the-shelf hardware can make sense.
Why would functionality in OCT need to he changed? (your argument against using ASICs)...granted at low volumes it always makes sense to use FPGA when prototyping the system but at some point it pays to switch to ASICs...we will not be building IPhones with FPGAs...Kris