Another episode of the vlog is up – and this time I tackle the question of whether or not it’s a good idea for Best Buy to back away from carrying Huawei products in their stores. Be sure to check it out, and leave a comment if you agree or disagree. Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe to get all our content!
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that AT&T had backed away from a deal that would have seen AT&T Wireless carry and sell an undisclosed Huawei “flagship” mobile phone in its retail locations. Sean P and I have discussed that this might have been a solid way for Huawei (currently one of the top smartphone OEMs in the world, but who’s made limited inroads in the US market as of yet) to get a foothold in the very lucrative United States sales territory.
We’ve both argued back and forth during our podcasts in the past about whether carrier support is necessary for sales success, and what it boils down to is how you define success. Huawei is very large and isn’t having any issues selling phones, period. But if they want to grow even further, a deal with a US carrier seems likely. WSJ also reported today that Huawei is seen as a “spy threat” and this may have had something to do with AT&T withdrawing from the deal. Considering the current US government climate and attitude towards wired and wireless broadband carriers, and its support of the end of net neutrality, it probably wouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that nationalism played a role in this whole dance.
Huawei will have to find another partner in the US carrier market to tango with.
**UPDATE: 9to5Google is reporting that it was indeed “political pressure” that scuttled the AT&T and Huawei deal, with Huawei reportedly suprised by the news. This makes snese, considering that Huawei was poised to make a major announcent at CES 2018 this week which was presumed to be that they had indeed landed a carrier deal with AT&T.
**2nd UPDATE: Android Police is now reporting that Verizon may be under similar pressure to end a deal with Huawei that was scheduled for later on this year.
In a move that could surely cause waves with other carriers and mobile OEMs, Huawei appears to have entered into an agreement with AT&T to bring a flagship phone to their retail stores, starting early next year. Sean P and I have talked about during the podcasts about how without a carrier presence in the US, most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) don’t have a ton of sales success.
While Huawei has made some very solid value and flagship phones in recent years, their sales figures in the United States haven’t been as stellar as overseas. This move is poised to start to change all that. We will definitely be following this story as we get closer to 2018.
Earlier this week, Andy Rubin announced the start of a new mobile device company, called Essential. They are going to be making a number of different consumer products, but foremost among them is their PH-1 smartphone, made with premium materials and costing a cool $699 retail and off contract. Its the off contract part that is both intriguing and potentially disappointing, as Essential will launch their device using the direct-to- consumer model that other OEMs have used before. The question we should be asking is not about phone specs or display size or battery capacity. Its about whether or not a phone sold direct to consumers without any carrier presence can find a measure of success. So far, the results are a mixed bag. Let’s explore some of the reasons why a bit further.
This is part 2 of our feature on OEM Stock Watch 2017. If you haven’t already, make sure you go back and check out part 1 to get our feelings on how the other major OEMs are doing this year. Once you’ve done that, click on through to read part 2! Part 2 covers what my (Shawn) thoughts are on the rest of the OEMs; Sean P. will have his parts coming in a special part 3 (as soon as his RL work stuff calms down a bit)