Isn't the whole reason for the Pixel to provide an alternative to Apple that looks comfortingly familiar - right down to price, which has margin headroom built in eventually to attract carriers beyond Verizon?
Currently the US phone market is Apple/Samsung and that is not actually good for Google in the long run.
I don't believe that these are aimed at anything beyond the US market. The number of iPhone lookalikes in China is huge and customised for the Chinese. This is all about piece of mind with US consumers.