Huawei Refused Google’s Offer to Build New Pixel Phones; US Division Struggling with No Clear Future

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 4 Oct 2016

Huawei P9 Review

Android Police reports that after the relatively successful Nexus 6P last year, Google wanted Huawei to build its Pixel smartphones this year. However, negotiations between both companies completely stopped when Google demanded Huawei to build phones that had no partner logos at all.

However, this was only the final nail in the coffin. Trouble between both companies started from 2015 itself while they were working on the Nexus 6P. Google promised Huawei that the Nexus 6P would be available across all major carriers in the United States, including Verizon. Huawei has long been trying to get its phones in U.S. carrier stores and networks and the Nexus 6P would have finally given it that chance. Google and Huawei were also planning on embarking on a multi-million dollar advertising blitz for their new Nexus 6P, with both companies contributing a similar amount towards the ad campaign.

Sadly, for Huawei, talks between Google and major carriers in the United States fell through which ultimately led to Google selling the Nexus 6P exclusively through its Google Store initially. As a consolation, Google allowed Huawei to sell the Nexus 6P through its website as well when the handset first launched, but other retailers like B&H and Amazon had to wait for a few months before they could start selling the device. This obviously did not go down well with Huawei since it could not get a phone manufactured by it on Verizon and other carrier network stores.

In 2016, when Google asked Huawei to make three new smartphones — two Pixel smartphones and one possibly cheaper Nexus device — without any manufacturer branding, Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu himself ended the negotiation talks with Google. This ultimately led Google to go ahead with its second manufacturer of choice: HTC.

Despite these incidents, the relationship between Google and Huawei is still pretty strong. Both companies are apparently working on a phone that will be launched in H2, 2017. Not much is known about this mid-range device, but it looks like it won’t carry the Pixel branding.

That’s not all though. The report also details that Huawei’s US division has been struggling badly. The source of the publication claims that Huawei sold almost nil units of GX8, with its other devices like the MateBook also being an “absolute flop.” The Honor 5X only sold in decent numbers, with the recently launched Honor 8 sales being well below expectations as well. As for the P9 which Huawei marketed a lot before its launch, the handset never launched in the United States. Huawei has also laid off its entire Honor US team last month, with the Huawei Device team also going through a significant change. This includes the US CEO being removed and most of the employees being removed. Right now, Huawei’s US strategy is unreliable and unsteady, with no confirmed future plans from the company.

Despite its US division struggling, Huawei has managed to become a prominent player in the smartphone market. The company’s smartphones have been doing exceedingly well in China and Europe where they are selling like hot cakes. Huawei has been trying to breakthrough into the US market since quite a few years, but its Chinese origins and history don’t really favor it.

[Via Android Police]