Wow, it's been a long time since I've seen a "The Raspberry Pi Foundation is making Broadcom do stuff!!11!11!!11" post.
Let's start with the facts:
The RPF received special dispensation from Broadcom way back in the beginning to buy some of their BCM2835 at much lower quantities than they typically do largely in part to the fact that one of the head honchos in the design and making of the pi was a broadcom employee (Hi, Eben!). This was back in the day when the first back was going to be 50K units and everyone thought they'd get one at launch, and we honestly thought that 50K units would be all that ever sold.
And then things drastically changed, the board had more than 50K users and it dawned on people that no, we wouldn't all get one, something that has made a lot of people bitter to this day.
Flash forward and now, to the best of my knowledge, the RPF can actually order the BCM2835 in the quantities that Joe Schome from the street would need to purchase to get Broadcom to sell them their chips.
But there's a really important detail here. Broadcom != RPF and RPF != Broadcom. Broadcom was generous at the get go because they were being kind to an employee (and I suspect they also recognized that a device making use of their chip would be a nice demo/publicity, just because they were being nice doesn't mean they couldn't also be business savvy
). At the end of this, the RPF is a client of Broadcom and frankly they're not a big power player in terms of broadcom's revenue.
Broadcom brought in 2.06 Billion USD dollars
in 2013, if we pretended like 100% of the $35 pi went to Broadcom, that all... I think 2 million? Pis sold thus far were the model B and were all sold in 2013 that means that 70 million dollars would have come from the RPF. 70 million divided by 2.06 Billion multiplied by a 100 tells us that the Pi would represent a staggering 3% of Broadcom's revenue. Wait did I say staggering? I meant paltry. Bringing things back to reality, and recognizing the the Model A costs 25, take out let's say 7 dollars for the distributor's profits (total guess on that by they way, I have no idea what the distribs get in terms of profits) and we'll assume it costs 18 dollars to make the pi, which is, in my opinion, a fairly generous estimate. Taking out the cost of the various components the cost of the PCB and assembly and let's say the part they actually purchase from Broadcom comes, the BCM2835, and we'll guess that they chip itself costs between 7-10 dollars. Further, we'll say the Pi purchased a nice round 1 million units from Broadcom last year and we can see that, doing the math again, the Pi would account for 0.33%-0.49% of revenue. Looking at that link we can see that a deal they did with Qualcom brought in 186 million dollars or between 18.6 and 26.6 times the amount that the RPF could have provided in their wildest dreams!
To say that the RPF could actually strong arm Broadcom into doing anything is just plain asinine (no offense). No, the RPF hasn't forced Broadcom to shutdown Odriod, in all likelihood they were able to purchase a sample amount, but were not able to come to an agreement on future order quantities or they were able to get some of the chips from some other source they reclaimed them from other devices. Even if the RPF tried to get broadcom to stop sell of the chip to a knockoff, broadcom, as a business to make a profit, would promptly ignore them, good feelings towards their employee or not!
I'm all for a good conspiracy theory, but at least try to do a sanity check to see if it's even remotely plausible before drinking the kool-aid!