No Google Stores
Google have seen chumps buying iPhones and thought premium price land here we come.. but they haven't got a Google shop in every premium shopping centre, staffed by people insane enough to patiently listen and help chumps who can't configure their home WiFi and send them away to be fixed when they breakdown. That's what people are paying the i-premium for and that's fair enough, I can see the appeal... but Google has none of this infrastructure and never will.
Android users want premium phones at half the price, and companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus produce phones. The Pixel specs, despite what the author thinks, are pretty mid-range, and indeed the materials, you get premium metal cases for a lot lot less.