Huawei passed on the chance to manufacture Google’s latest generation of own-brand smartphones, as the vendor’s US efforts struggle, Android Police said.
When Huawei signed to manufacture last year’s Nexus 6P, the intention was for devices to be sold via the big four US operators, which would give it inroads into a potentially huge market. Google and Huawei were also to undertake joint marketing.
In the end, this did not happen, with devices only sold through open-market channels.
With Google deciding its next-generation devices would not have any manufacturer branding at all, Huawei opted not to get involved.
Android Police pointed to wider troubles in Huawei’s US operation, where the company has struggled to gain market share. Following a high-profile launch of Honor 8, it “sacked essentially the entire Honor US team”, it said, with “much of the Western team” removed to leave mainly Chinese ex-pats.
Flagship Huawei devices also did not make it to market there.
While Huawei has seen a period of strong growth, as it gets bigger, it is more difficult to make gains. Increasing its presence in markets where it is weaker – such as the US – would be an effective way to do this.
Interestingly, with reports that Huawei is looking at Tizen as a potential smartwatch platform, it was also said that the relationship with Google “remains strong” – indicating that the current split is the result of tactical differences between the two rather than a deeper disagreement.
This means that Huawei is still in talks with Google about its 2017 plans.