as for USB-storage in ERL3 - there was only speculations about.
most popular two are : .1 its made to save UBNT from counterfeit hardware copies from china. 2. its was simpler/cheaper.
but potentially - its was Good idea, which can both simplify/speed-up manufacturing and simplify repair/recovery of devices, but sadly conditions/terms of service and absence of images to directly download from UBNT website and then dump to sticks(by DD with or without front-ends) - ruin it enteriely in consumers eyes.
imagine my initial surprise. and eyes of my boss, when i explain him situation, saying exactly what i said, ie "WTF?" aswell as "do you say we're told to send by airmail WHOLE router to get replaced/udated finger-sized cheapo $2 USB-stick inside it??!!"
as for Chinese vendors comparison: i generally wouldn't advise laugh at them. some even mid-sized companies - may had 300 to 500 ppl of Engineers ALONE(not without counting Workers/manufacturing, salespersons, shipping/advertising and other part of companies) and behemoths are - much bigger. so its only lack of experience among them(and really inconsistency/under-performance of higher education in China, yet - slowing them down. but for how long ? i don't think its very big numbers/time)
anyway, thanks to Chinese vendors(both finished devices and SoC suppliers, components manufacturers meant) - we're may see networking market in Much more interesting shape, than before(and have mikrotik devices made as inexpensive as we're had today) . for benefits of both consumers, vendors and global village of humanity/mankind, perhaps
but most of their companies - operate Solely in Chinese market, basically because most of them - majority and biggest OEM and ODM manufacturers in region and in World
just tested Netis 2881 for example. for inexpensive/cheap router with 1004k SoC its quite funny performing ) would be even cooler with ROS, of course
or OWRT or DDWRT or VyOS or anything esle(that you may prefer).