While Huawei has quickly worked its way to the third largest smartphone manufacturer, trailing only Samsung and Apple, it has made little headway in the US, but all of that may change if AT&T and Huawei can work out a deal to sell their smartphones through the US’ second largest carrier. The Chinese manufacturer is a well-known brand name in China and Europe, but in the US, Huawei has poor brand recognition and is hampered by the US government’s concerns that China is using the company as a weapon to spy on us. Huawei devices can be purchased unlocked for use in the US through stores such as Amazon and Best, but that has not helped the company from making inroads into the US market. The fact remains that most smartphones sold in the US are purchased through the carriers, and using GSM technology, only AT&T, and T-Mobile would qualify as a viable carrier. With Huawei and T-Mobile in a legal battle, that only leaves AT&T as the carrier of choice.
AT&T is in the early stages of looking into the compatibility of Huawei’s proprietary Kirin chipset with AT&T’s network. Even if approved, it will still be a while before AT&T would start selling their smartphones as terms of conditions and contracts still need to be worked out. While most of Huawei’s success and growth are attributed to less expensive phones sold in emerging nations, Huawei has tried to offer premium features on high-end devices that US buyers would appreciate – such as dual Leica cameras. Huawei even tried the backdoor through Google by producing one of the best Nexus devices they ever sold via the Nexus 6P, but that partnership didn’t continue with the Pixel, because Google didn’t want their partners names on the devices and that wasn’t something Huawei wanted to agree to.
It would be great if Huawei and the US could play nice and if AT&T can work out an agreement because the US is losing out on some excellent smartphones. The new Huawei P10, officially announced in February at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is not even designated to make an appearance in the US.