Re: It's simple: open STANDARDS
"The good thing with standards is that there's so many you can choose from."
There have been various Google-free Androids, starting with CyanogenMod. The problem is that to be successful these past years, you had to be fast. Mobile phones have evolved a lot, from the camera tricks to the fingerprint sensors. If your software couldn't keep pace, you disappeared. Lose one season, run out of money.
I believe that it is simply not possible at the moment for standards to evolve fast enough to keep up with the technology. If you wait for the standard to exist, you're already one year behind the proprietary solutions of the Apples, Googles and WeChats. Then nobody wants your phone, and nobody even wants to build it.
The big ones are essentially at war with each other for customers. You might be able to raise an army, but if your army makes tactical decisions by committee, there's no way to win.
There's a glimmer of hope: The pace of evolution seems to be slowing down, with less hardware features being added. If there's a moment of pause, it might be possible for an alternative to catch up. Fingers crossed...