Big challenges are ahead for Huawei as the U.S. government continues pressuring domestic companies to stay away. What’s next is completely up in the air as partners have lost trust and ended their agreements.
First the company announced that its latest flagship, the Mate 10 Pro, would make its way to the United States on at least one major carrier’s network. It was a good sign since, in this particular market, a mobile device needs carrier support to have any chance at being successful. But everything came crashing down when AT&T pulled out of the partnership just hours before an unveiling at CES 2018. The reason, though not confirmed publicly, is that lawmakers suspect Huawei collects user data and sends it to the Chinese government.
Now Huawei is losing another partner. Verizon has also reportedly listened to the U.S. government and decided it won’t be selling any of Huawei’s phones, according to Bloomberg.
Carriers are hesitant to work with Huawei on 5G connectivity as well. There’s been concern that, although the company could certainly help build out these networks, the Chinese government would be able to pick up private information from U.S. citizens.
Huawei would apparently like to have a 5G-ready phone first on the market; however, the U.S. government might block that from happening.
The Mate 10 Pro will still be available in the U.S. this year, and the phone should work on both AT&T and Verizon’s networks. Huawei included the necessary bands to work on GSM and CDMA networks in the country despite the phone itself not joining any carrier’s lineup. Consumers will just have to purchase the Mate 10 Pro through a retailer like Amazon or Best Buy.
Fortunately for Huawei, its pockets are pretty deep. The company can afford to go solo without any assistance for a bit, but eventually one major U.S. carrier will need to sell its phones. Otherwise, Huawei stands no chance at surpassing Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone brand.