> Developer boards are just that - they are used for DEVELOPMENT. They are not intended to be used as general-purpose computers, but instead they are intended to mimic the target system as close as possible but no closer.
that can't possibly work if you are selling an embedded CPU that is going to be used in thousands of different systems. You cannot possibly imagine all the possible system designs that engineers are going to want to put your CPU into. As such, any attempt to mimic all of them is guaranteed to fail.
you can create a reference design of a particular type of thing, but a reference design for a set-top box is likely to be really bad for a tablet developer (and vice-versa)
A developer board is not supposed to mimic a particular target system, it's supposed to give you the minimum needed to get the chip up and working so that you can wire up the rest of the system that YOU (the engineer) are designing so that you can try various things before you have a custom board made.
In any case, needing to buy a >$1K board to mimic the board that will be installed in a <$100 retail product is still wrong.