Huawei’s grand U.S. distribution plans have hit a slight snag – as a deal with the country’s largest wireless carrier AT&T has reportedly fallen through at the very last minute. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T pulled out of the deal at the last minute due to concerns relating to Huawei’s ties with the Chinese government.
In December 2017, Huawei consumer business head Richard Yu told Associated Press that the company will start selling the Huawei Mate 10 Pro through U.S. carriers next year and will reveal details about the same at CES 2018. As the U.S. smartphone market is largely carrier centric, getting a deal with AT&T (or any other US carrier) would have finally given Huawei a proper presence there.
“It is a big loss for us and also for carriers but more for consumers”, Richard Yu remarked at the failure to ink a deal with any wireless carrier. Yu did not reveal the exact reason for the failure of the deal at the CES keynote. The company also cancelled a post-keynote roundtable meeting that had been scheduled for select journalists.
Regarding the Wall Street Journal report which claims the deal was scuttled due to security concerns, Huawei spokesman Chase Skinner said – ” privacy and security are always our first priority. We are compliant with the world’s most stringent privacy protection frameworks”.
Wonder Woman to the rescue
With no support from wireless carriers, Huawei’s U.S. plans have taken a great hit but the company is still pushing through with the launch of the Mate 10 Pro in the U.S. Interested customers will be able to buy the smartphone unlocked for 799 dollars. The AI infused flagship will be compatible with the T-Mobile and AT&T wireless networks.
In order to promote the Mate 10 Pro and give it a little boost, Huawei has roped in Gal Gadot aka Wonder Woman as its spokesperson. Wonder Woman was one of the highest grossing movies in the U.S. last year and Gal Gadot’s performance was appreciated by critics and audiences alike.
Gal Gadot, who was the highest grossing actress of 2017, has been given the title of Chief Experience Officer. Richard Yu said – “In this new role, Ms. Gadot will help shape the company’s brand experiences and play an active role in listening to and providing ongoing ideas to inform how Huawei will bring the best experiences to its consumers”.
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