A very convoluted way to say “I don’t like/trust Apple”. Which might be fine in itself, but the arguments are rather baseless.
“The size saved by the mico-SIM is miniscule.”
For you, maybe. For people trying to make ever thinner phones and devices, where everything is tightly put together, not so much. Including a future with smaller phones, or devices like an iPod Mini with phone capabilities.
Second: changing networks is not something that can only be achieved via a SIM card. Actually you could get the exact same benefits of switching on the fly, even without SIMs, say, with a virtual-SIM. Nothing that the card does that cannot be replicated in code + network standard. For this to happen you just need the carriers to agree on a on-the-fly standard for that, or the government to regulate them to agree.
Third: “The micro-SIM was their first move. Use a SIM which cannot be swapped with any other phone.”
The micro-SIM was not an Apple invention. It was developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the Open Mobile Alliance. They used a standard SIM module.
Now, IIRC, (I am not an American or in the US), in the US SIM card swapping was not common at all. Devices used to be sold by the carriers locked only to be used by them, and they had total control. It was actually the iPhone, among other things, that made SIM cards popular.
“When the iPhone was limited to a single carrier per market, they also had that control over the networks. They could (and did) dictate how much the monthly tariff cost. How many minutes, texts, and MB an iPhone user would have. They even prevented the phone being sold to PAYG customers.”
No, they didn’t. On the contrary. They dictated some terms to AT&T, but all those are parts where the carriers kept control of. Apple could care less “how many minutes, texts, and MB an iPhone user would have”. Limits and pricing to all those was all the carriers doing, for not “overloading” their under-capacity networks. Apple would be happy for users to get unlimited MBs, SMSs or whatever, so they can sell more iPhones. And in countries where the carriers are not allowed to impose such limits, or where they traditionally do not, you can use your iPhone without any artificial limitations.
Where Apple intervened, it was for the benefit of the customer. For example: the iPhone style voicemail interface, compared to the costly and convoluted ways the carrier implemented voicemail. Apple made iMessages, so you can bypass the costly SMS service altogether (this costs carries hundreds of millions of dollars).
Apple added tethering to the iPhone, and while us in European countries got it just fine, AT&T put it on hold, as to not overload their pathetic network, etc etc.
Your complains are misguided. When it comes to exclusivity to the network, limits, etc, it’s the carriers. Apple could care less –they care about you buying their phones every 2 years.