There are good reasons why circuitry is better than non-free firmware: relevant law about warranty and copyright are more favorable to the user of the circuitry.
You can disclaim warranty and use copyright to restrict user right on the product, which you cannot do with physical circuitry.
However none of that apply here, since Marvell does not build the circuitry itself, it does not have to provide warranty, and the GTA04 still need a license from Marvell to copy the firmware in the circuitry.
Of course, If Marvell had agreed to provide the circuitry itself, it would have been different.
So all in all, it is a strange decision even by FSF standard, even for a rabid anti-non-free-firmware like me.