Apart from AT&T, Verizon was also in talks with Huawei to sell the Mate 10 in the United States later this year. However, due to “political pressure,” Verizon has had to push back the launch of the Mate 10 from summer of 2018 to fall but the launch will likely be canceled altogether.
Verizon is being pressurized by the FCC and the U.S. government to not sell the Huawei Mate 10 in the United States due to the company’s closeness with the Chinese government and intelligence agencies. Based on the same intelligence committee report, AT&T was forced to cancel its deal with Huawei at the last minute before CES 2018.
The move has angered and disappointed Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu who went off script at the end of his speech at CES 2018 to talk about it. He expressed his disappointment at Huawei being unable to win the trust of US carriers and the government. He said that the company faced a similar situation in China when it first entered into the consumer product category but it has since managed to win the trust of consumers and carriers in China, Europe, Japan and essentially the rest of the world barring the United States.
“We win the trust of the Chinese carriers, we win the trust of the emerging markets… and also we win the trust of the global carriers, all the European and Japanese carriers,” he said. “We are serving over 70 million people worldwide. We’ve proven our quality, we’ve proven our privacy and security protection.”
More importantly, Yu said that U.S. carriers not selling Huawei’s phones in the United States is a big loss for both parties but it is an even bigger loss for consumers as they “don’t have the best choice.”
If you saw the Huawei’s CES 2018 keynote, you could have seen how frustrated Richard Yu was with the whole “political pressure” that led to AT&T backing out from selling the Mate 10 in the United States. While Huawei will still be selling the handset directly to consumers in the United States, it is unlikely to make inroads in the market as very few people buy smartphones at full price in the country. Huawei is currently the world’s third-largest smartphone maker but the bulk of its smartphone sales occur in China. The company has been trying to penetrate the U.S. market for a few years now but has failed to make any dents. Given how its deal with AT&T and Verizon fell through, it is unlikely that this scenario is going to change anytime soon.