The OP made the point that with GSM hardware is decoupled from paid services, so he was talking about the advantage of the GSM (2GSM, UMTS, LTE) standard.
The GP is wrong in suggesting that it would have been shortsighted and is using a lot of the myths that Qualcomm spread about GSM to promote that view. Qualcomm could have made a decent phone standard, but they felt the carriers wanted "a digital version of AMPS" and that's pretty much, functionally, what they originally created, with messaging and data being grafted on, clumsily, later, in a game of catch up that they never really won. By the time the TIA standards finally supported SIM cards the carriers were so locked to a SIMless platform they weren't prepared to implement it. And at that point it was pretty much clear that GSM/UMTS standards were so far ahead that Qualcomm would never catch up.