Huawei Will Not Sell New Flagship Smartphones in the U.S.

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 63 Comments

After trying to make a major splash in the U.S. this past year, Huawei is retreating thanks to state-sponsored xenophobia. And it said today that it will not even try to sell its newest flagship smartphones here.

“We are not planning to sell the Mate 20 Series in the U.S.,” a Huawei statement explains. “While international variants of the Mate 20 Series may be available on some US online retail sites, we encourage individuals to carefully read the details about the warranty and network compatibility before purchasing.”

As you may recall, Huawei originally planned to launch its Mate 10 series handsets in the U.S. via AT&T and Verizon, the country’s biggest wireless carriers. But the Trump administration demanded that the firms drop the phones because Huawei is a Chinese-based telecommunications giant that threatens U.S. interests. Later, Best Buy also agreed to not sell Huawei’s flagships.

And that’s a shame: As I noted in my review, the Mate 10 Pro is “a beautiful, powerful, and affordable Android flagship,” and the firm deserves to compete in an open market with other smartphone makers here.

In an ironic twist, Huawei in August overtook Apple, the U.S-based consumer electronics giant, to become the number two maker of smartphones worldwide behind Samsung. This despite not being able to sell its phones in the U.S., the second-biggest smartphone market in the world. If current trends continue, two other Chinese smartphone makers, Xiaomi and OPPO, could surpass Apple over the next year or so as well. So much for that xenophobia strategy.

Anyway, those U.S. consumers who are still interested in Huawei’s next flagships will still be able to purchase European variants of the phones. Unless, of course, the White House bans the Internet next.

Huawei first provided the quote above to Business Insider for some reason.

 

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Comments (63)

63 responses to “Huawei Will Not Sell New Flagship Smartphones in the U.S.”

  1. Avatar

    HellcatM

    "But the Trump administration demanded that the firms drop the phones because Huawei is a Chinese-based telecommunications giant that threatens U.S. interests."


    BUT so many phones are made in China including the iphone. If the Chinese Govt wanted to do something to the phones they could do it to any phone made in China including the iphone. So if trump is worried about China, block the iphone (and other phones made in China from being sold in the US".

    • Avatar

      matsan

      In reply to HellcatM:

      Potentially yes.

      But I'll tell you a story about my installation of a PV-farm at my house. The expensive power-converter from SolarEdge is of course manufactured in China. The firmware however came on a mailed SD-card that was inserted into the power-convert. At first boot it showed a long activation code challenge on the display. After a phone call to SolarEdge support in Germany they gave you an activation code to enter. That activation code included the number of PV-panels and maximum power. After this, the firmware was installed on the unit from the SD-card. They simply didn't trust the manufacturer in Chine with the fundamental know-how that the firmware contains making it possible for them to provide units for the grey-market.

    • Avatar

      eric_rasmussen

      In reply to HellcatM:

      Exactly. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the US government went after Huawei because Huawei wouldn't implement an NSA back-door or something along these lines. A phone manufacturer who steals data will not be a phone manufacturer for long, so the whole story the American public was fed doesn't make sense.

    • Avatar

      yangstax

      In reply to HellcatM:


      The main reason that Trump administration has waged a war against Huawei is actually based on the logic rather on the facts. Chinese Govt owns some shares in the Huawei Corporation as they do in most of the large Chinese corporations. So Trump is suspecting that they could potentially interfere and embed some electronic parts for the espionage purpose, even there are no evidences to substantiate those concerns. Even the security concerns are valid, U.S. could just forbids government organizations from procuring the Huawei products. I certainly don't see why the consumer phones would be banned. What information exactly consumer phones can contribute and impact the security of China? It is beyond me.

  2. Avatar

    Illusive_Man

    Aren’t Trump Steaks and all his other made in China though? The only thing he has manufactured in the USA are his own lies.

  3. Avatar

    Matt Lohr

    Paul, please avoid political commentary. I avoid other tech sites because they can't help themselves.

  4. Avatar

    waethorn

    I'm enjoying my OTG phone. No apps = more security, more happy.

  5. Avatar

    PeterC

    Huawei are targeting a 30% sales increase in Europe and their handsets are extremely good looking and svelte to hold. I see loads on sale and in use everyday. I think they better Samsung in build/design now. Their Honor line, supposedly budget mid range, is also extremely good too.


    EMUI is way better these days but its not for everyone, even so I remain really interested in Huawei as their photography partnership with Leica is going great guns - its just the google issues for me personally that keep me iOS. But if the google relationship changes for Huawei, and I think it will, then I'm in.

  6. Avatar

    Vladimir Carli

    OMG, it’s pretty amazing the kind of comments that this post stimulates. Looking at it from Europe it’s a very weird fact happening in the land of the free market. Huawei are by far the best android phones. The fact that they are not sold in the us it’s obviously an anomaly, don’t you think?

  7. Avatar

    brettscoast

    This really is a dumb decision that makes no sense at all

  8. Avatar

    Xatom

    Spare us your sophomoric pseudo insights about national security matters about which you unfortunately know little.

  9. Avatar

    pargon

    When I was stationed on a submarine for 5 years, cell phones were not allowed on board due to the reason that China has programs that can target certain people's phones, install on the device so when you think you're turning it off, it displays normal shutdown screens and then goes black, keeps the phone on, records conversation within mic range and silently connects to a server when it has a cell signal or wifi later. Many people high up in the government were surveilled and thus being on a sub, dealing with national security on a daily basis we weren't allowed to have any sensitive conversation within earshot of a device with wifi.


    This was in 2013. We all left our phones topside in a steel box.

  10. Avatar

    maethorechannen

    two other Chinese smartphone makers, Xiaomi and OPPO, could surpass Apple over the next year or so as well. So much for that xenophobia strategy.


    Arguably, Apple would lose it's position even faster without the xenophobia. Or at least it would if the iPhone didn't have such a mindshare lock in America.

  11. Avatar

    wright_is

    The handsets are very good.

    We have a Mate 9 Pro, Mate 10 Pro, P20 and a P-Smart. All are great devices and the support is good as well. My daughter's 9Pro camera had gray smudges, a Perlen I had with my Lumia 950 as well, when the processor gets too hot and damaged the sensor. They have her a refurb unit on an 18 month old device, no questions asked.

    The cameras are good and the cheap P-Smart feels like an iPhone 8 in the hand.

    Huawei will be at the top of my list, when it comes to replacing my current phone.

    That is something that only Nokia has managed so far.

    I've been through HTC, Samsung, Nexus, Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola phones and never bought the same brand twice, apart from Lumias. Huawei looks like it might be the exception to the rule, although their prices are ceiling into the silly category, usually reserved for Apple, Samsung and Google.


  12. Avatar

    Chriscom

    "After trying to make a major splash in the U.S. this past year, Huawei is retreating thanks to state-sponsored xenophobia."


    Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed national security expert Paul Thurrott.

    • Avatar

      Xatom

      In reply to Chriscom

      i say move to China where you can buy and use them freely. Well as long as you don't mind state censorship or winding up in a prison camp for re-education if you use it too freely. At least you can buy them so it wouldn't be all bad.
  13. Avatar

    Boris Zakharin

    I'm sorry, but this attitude predates Trump. I remember quite well when the US government refused to buy any Huawei equipment due to security concerns, and advise private industry to do likewise.

  14. Avatar

    txag

    I guess Australia is evil, too. They banned Huawei from bidding on their 5G infrastructure due to security concerns.

  15. Avatar

    MachineGunJohn

    I'm surprised you didn't also throw in sexist, misogynist, islamist, and homophobe. Those usually tag along with racist/xenophobe when baselessly thrown into a conversation. There is no xenophobia in the US governments stance on Huawei and it's non-xenophobicly held by other governments as well. Better to stick with the tech facts and leave the name calling to the uninformed elsewhere in mass media. There are more than enough there and they lowering IQs and diminishing public discourse everywhere else. It'd be nice to have a break from it here.

  16. Avatar

    matsan

    Yeah - let China roll over us clueless Europeans.

    Seeing what Stuxnet could do, just image what a couple of million (potential) state-sponsored spy-devices could do.

  17. Avatar

    FalseAgent

    at some point the US is going to have either provide clinical evidence of so-called "phoning home" in actual consumer hardware from huawei, something which apparently the rest of the world doesn't know about, or admit that they've been lying about it.

    • Avatar

      architxt

      In reply to FalseAgent:


      Whether there is or isn't 'clinical evidence' relative to Huawei the context is broader than that: China is expanding is political, economic and military influence at an alarming rate.


      To a point, I believe, that the US and its allies need to get serious about a solid defensive / offensive strategy. Disengagement on a business level should be part of that too, however painful that is going to be.


      I'm in Australia and more exposed to China's new 'purpose'. Chinese investment is considerable here and with that comes influence. Some of it subtle and some not so much. They're buying their way across APAC and Africa -- you must have heard about the 'One Belt' initiative too, right? Not to mention what they're doing in the South China sea, building a military base in international waters and claiming it's all theirs.


      It would be less of a concern if China were a democratic and free society, but it's not. Far from it.


      To learn more about all of the above search for a podcast called China Unscripted. Paul should have a listen too.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      Trump administration admit mistakes? What planet have you been living on in which alternative universe?

    • Avatar

      red.radar

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      I think it has nothing to do with Phoning home and that is the smoke screen for the real issue. Huawei was implicated for stealing designs from Cisco in building network infrastructure many years ago. From someone I knew who worked at cisco they tore down a Huawei router and it was basically identical to theirs.


      So now certain tech companies have lobbied the Senate, Congress and Administration for past behavior that probably has evidence. It becomes a convenient issue to forever punish them for past crimes.


      Is Huawei still phoning home..or steeling designs... probally not...right now... But its a wonderful boogieman based in some past facts. I think this goes back to IP rights and not privacy and spying. That is just a wonderful cover for real facts.


      OH... This was going on before Trump.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to red.radar:

        Unless a design is protected by patents, or protected by a nondisclosure agreement, copying it is completely legal. If Cisco had a credible claim against Huawei, they should have sued them.


        Update: As it turns out, Cisco did sue them and they eventually settled with Huawei removing the contested code. That's the proper way such disagreements between companies should be handled rather than getting the government involved.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to red.radar:

        It's true that the government was making these sorts of warnings before Trump was in office, but the most severe restrictions were imposed by his administration.

    • Avatar

      MachineGunJohn

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      fortunately you are entirely incorrect about them having to do any such thing. Rest assured it has been shared with the relevant people which don't include those prone to baseless speculation like you and unfortunately apparently Paul.

      • Avatar

        skane2600

        In reply to MachineGunJohn:

        There would be absolutely no reason to hide the evidence if there was any. It would simply be a matter of reverse engineering or monitoring data transmissions. Neither one involves revealing intelligence assets.


        The simplest conclusion is that such evidence simply doesn't exist. We know Trump makes claims that are demonstrably false on a regular basis, so this is likely just more of the same.

      • Avatar

        aionon

        In reply to MachineGunJohn:
        Tried to upvote you and it downvoted... so figured i must have hit the wrong one, and hit the other, and that one downvoted twice... guess you can only downvote if you criticize here...


      • Avatar

        FalseAgent

        In reply to MachineGunJohn:

        The world is bigger than America, sorry. Huawei devices ship to India, Europe, East Asia, Asia-pacific, the middle east, and pretty much everywhere. America is free to prove me wrong and gladly tell the world what only your self-described "relevant people" know, or admit that they're backstabbing allies by witholding the knowledge of an alleged chinese threat capable of disrupting all of our economies. It is either one or the other, and I assure you, time will prove my scenario right. There's no need to make it more complicated than that.

  18. Avatar

    rupertholmes

    As so I still cannot get a phone that will take a better photo than my former Flagship 1020. I may just purchase an international version and chance it. None of this is Trump's fault. Someone may be getting a kickback to fed false info and Samsung and Apple ahead.

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