Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi are reportedly in talks with US operators about offering their flagship devices in the country.
While both companies have achieved top positions in the global smartphone market, they have done so without cracking the US market. Adding the potentially lucrative region to their roster would give the companies a chance to close the gap with rivals including Apple and Samsung, both of which are already active across all key markets.
Bloomberg reported Huawei and Xiaomi are “negotiating with carriers including AT&T and Verizon Communications” and announcements may be lined up for CES 2018 in January.
Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business, subsequently all but confirmed a deal is in place for its Mate 10 flagship, telling Associated Press: “I think that we can bring value to the carriers and consumers”.
Huawei offered devices in the US before, but in recent years these were generally unlocked devices sold through e-commerce channels rather than with operator partners. It offered devices through AT&T before.
Xiaomi’s efforts in the market have focused on products other than smartphones.
One China-based vendor already carved out a position in the US market: ZTE is particularly strong in the sale of contract-free devices and also had operator support for its smartphones.