Google definitely does have way to much of a stranglehold on the Android ecosystem. They originally started the whole project/ecosystem as a fairly open source environment but as we now know that was simply to gain market share over Apple which at the time was already better established in the new smartphone/app world. I remember just how much freedom there was in 2010-2011 Android days. Slowly but surely they have been walled gardening-up their platform to get it to Apple like levels. You can see them really trying hard to kill their open source roots now that they have the majority of the market share; how they're walling off the custom ROM/root community, putting the whole OS on training wheels, actively working against guys who want to run Android phones but without Google services e.g. MicroG, the whole Safetynet thing, etc...
I'd welcome phones that came pre-made from the factory without Gapps installed, less work for me de-bloating the phone. In other countries plenty of other alternative app markets like Apptoide are commonplace and almost exclusively used over Google Play. It's only in North America/Western Europe that Google Play seems to have a monopoly.
Android phones can be very useful without any Google packages. Many apps can use web sockets for push notifications instead of relying on Google Cloud Messaging, Google just seems to strong arm developers into using it's APIs. In terms of security F-Droid smokes Google Play; Google play is filled with malware/spyware/adware apps. Many major functionality and/or popular apps on Android have a free and open source version available that doesn't rely on Google API's.
I for one would welcome if Android phones only came with ASOP on them, not a special custom pre-loaded spyware version from Samsung, no special Google spyware packages, spyware/adware from the carrier, etc.
Asus Prime X370-A AMD Ryzen AM4 DDR4
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950
2x Corsair Valueselect 8GB 288 Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 @ 2133
Corsair Force LS 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC SSD
Lite-On 24X SATA DVD/RW Optical Drive
Corsair RM550x 550W 80 Plus Gold
Noctua NH-L9A-AM4 Low-Profile
Antec NSK4100 Steel ATX Mid Tower
Mint 18.2 x64
HP 24" LCD/LED 1920x1080
Asus Essence STX II
▲ hide details ▲