Lots of conjectures
Lots of conjectures, little substance and obligatory "Fear the Google by Andrew (tm)". While Google should be feared, it should be for real reasons, not just for everything it does. IMHO the "blanket assault" on the household covering everything from A-Z is much more to be feared of than a new phone.
So, on the Pixel:
1. In terms of feature and spec Pixel lags (as expected from an HTC phone) behind Sony, Huawei and Samsung. Camera is worse, build is worse, waterproofing is worse, various minor bits and bobs are also worse. While a nice upper bracket phone it _DOES_ _NOT_ stand up out of the crowd.
2. The "latest OS" in terms of features has hit diminishing returns somewhere around Android 4.x. From 5.x the OS level features and internal improvements are all in the diminishing returns twilight zone. So even if Pixel is one major version ahead of the OEMs it provides extremely little in terms of a consumer visible USP.
3. Google till this day has not learned how to work with operators. Even Apple learned this over time (and got down from its initial iPhone 1 and 2 high perch). So expecting a roaring applause welcome in retail outside the US is least likely (especially if Google continues to insist on no customization).
This is a phone built to address US market and to US market reqs. US mobile market is a strange beast - it has a disproportional (compared to the rest of the world) Apple dominance with Samsung being close second. All other makers need not apply. It is almost like the USA political system - always only two options. Red or Blue. No other choices if these are a choice in the first place.
Compared to that, the rest of the world has significantly lower Apple market share, higher tier 2 Android market share with significant brand loyalty in the upper mid-range and top bracket segment most of which are sold through operator retail. The Pixels does not do anything to try to break that.