AT&T pulls out of Huawei deal just one day before the CES 2018 announcement

Huawei has been selling phones in the US for years, but most people are oblivious to it. The well received Nexus 6P was made by Huawei, for example. Honor branded phones at Best Buy and Amazon are also made by Huawei. But they have yet to bring a self-branded flagship to a major US carrier, which seems to be the only way to truly compete in such a carrier controlled market. That was about to change with a CES 2018 announcement planned for tomorrow to make a deal with AT&T official. The carrier was set to launch the new Huawei Mate 10 Pro, but pulled out of the deal just 24 hours before Huawei’s big press conference.

The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T had backed out at the eleventh hour, but no explanation was provided. Nevertheless, Huawei is still moving forward with the press conference and Chengdong Richard Yu, Huawei CEO, intends to announce US availability of the Mate 10 Pro. It’s likely that the phone will simply be sold unlocked for GSM networks at this point, but perhaps T-Mobile might step in and save the day.

Huawei had also planned a multi-million dollar advertising campaign for the US, which could still be on the table if they sell the device unlocked. They’ve been pushing the Mate 10 Pro online as “The best phone you’ve never heard of” for US consumers. If it’s limited to GSM networks, meaning Verizon and Sprint customers will be left out, the expensive flagship will likely fail to gain traction and join Sony as a flop in the US. We’ll all know tomorrow when Huawei makes their announcement at 2pm PT.

Be sure to follow all of our CES 2018 coverage here.

Source: Wall Street Journal

About the Author: Erik Slaven

He was born and raised in Virginia, but escaped to Southern CA. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC’s Droid Eris and never looked back. He's owned dozens of Android devices and can rarely settle on a daily driver for more than a few months. He's currently using a Galaxy S8 and BlackBerry KEYone. He rides motorcycles for fun and would live on the beach if it was legal. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.