Best Buy is going to end sales of Huawei smartphones within a few weeks according to “people familiar with the matter, who recently spoke to cnet. As it currently stands you can still buy phones belonging to the brand if you can find them in any of Best Buy’s stores, but the retailer will reportedly no longer be ordering any new products to sell, which, is likely to make any existing stock of Huawei handsets officially being sold in the U.S. somewhat of a commodity.
Over the course of the next few weeks Best Buy will begin to phase out any sales of Huawei devices, though it wasn’t mentioned what would happen to any phones that weren’t purchased within the time period of when it is preparing to end sales. Neither Best Buy nor Huawei have elaborated on the rumored ending of the business relationship, but a spokesperson for Huawei is reported to have said that it views Best Buy as a valued partner, while a Best Buy spokesperson has reportedly said that it doesn’t comment on partner contracts and that there are multiple reasons why it would end a partnership with a vendor and that it changes its mind on selling products all the time.
Although there is no confirmation as to the reasoning behind this decision for Best Buy, it’s possible and probable that it’s for the same reasons why AT&T and Verizon both backed out from selling flagship devices coming from the brand – political pressure on grounds that Huawei devices would be a security risk to the U.S. consumer. Best Buy has been one of Huawei’s biggest retail partners, and one of the only retailers in the U.S. where you could physically see a device, play with it, and buy one officially, so this partner loss is going to be a big hit to the company who is currently ranked as the third largest smartphone brand globally, but it doesn’t stop there. In addition to U.S.-based security concerns, it’s been reported that Huawei is facing government scrutiny in Canada, South Korea, and Australia, which could lead to similar situations with retailers in those regions to stop selling the company’s products.