The real story-behind-the-story is developers threatened to test their abilities on launch and quit if the tests failed.
Which they are well within their rights to do. But it wouldve meant many apps wouldnt have worked without connectivity for example, which would have been bad for the ecosystem.
iOS is a different case, with a richer demographic and more paid apps. Free Android app developers need that usage data, not necessarily to sell it, but to be agile.
Sure there's sometimes blatant abuse but that's better solved with refinements in the Google Play agreement (particularly regarding fine location data.)