China’s Huawei is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it is popular everywhere. In fact, it seems as though the company is having a hard time breaking into the U.S. smartphone market.
Still, the company’s chances at breaking into the U.S. are not being helped by the fact that it passed on an opportunity to be the manufacturer behind Google’s 2016 smartphones. According to reports, the plans broke down when Google demanded Huawei’s logo not be on the new phones. However, drama was brewing far before that.
Huawei and Google first partnered in 2015 for the Google Nexus 6P — a phone that was marketed quite a bit more than previous Nexus phones. Initially, Google seems to have sold Huawei on the idea the phone would be stocked by all four major carriers, giving the company a chance to be seen on stores around the U.S. — seriously helping in its mission to break in to the U.S. market. The deal also included that Google and Huawei would launch a nine-figure ad campaign, with the agreement the companies would each match the other’s advertising budget.
You may have noticed, however, that none of that happened — the phone did not end up being sold directly by any major carrier. That is supposedly because Google ended up demanding that the device be a Google Play Store exclusive phone for a period of time and then sold through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.
After the whole Nexus 6P debacle, Google started talks for the 2016 smartphone lineup, approaching Huawei once again, this time with a serious condition — the Huawei logo cannot be on the device. According to reports, once Google mentioned this condition, Huawei immediately ended talks with the company and HTC — Google’s ‘Plan B’ — ended up with the contract.
Incidentally, the Pixel phones are the phones with the massive marketing campaigns — and they will be sold by carriers. Meanwhile, Huawei still has not made much headway in the U.S. market. Still, the partnership between Google and Huawei remains strong, according to reports and the companies are working on other projects together. Even more interesting is that the two companies may be working on a midrange phone for 2017, so we could yet see more phone built in partnership by the two companies.