U.S. lawmakers reportedly pressure AT&T to completely cut ties with Huawei

Huawei flagship at AT&T
After Huawei announced its flagship smartphone will not be sold by U.S. carriers, rumors surfaced the deal fell through due to security concerns. Now, sources close to the matter claim U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T to cut commercial ties with the Chinese company altogether — including any involvement in 5G development, Reuters reports.

According to the report, politicians are advising U.S. firms that having any ties to either Huawei or China Mobile could ruin their ability to do business with the U.S. government. In addition, two Republican lawmakers have already introduced a bill that bars the U.S. government from using or contracting Huawei as well as ZTE devices.

In 2016, Huawei was reportedly met with security concerns due to its networking equipment. The issue primarily stemmed from a 2012 congressional report suggesting U.S. carriers should stay away from Huawei and ZTE gear because “China might use it to spy on Americans.”

The call to end its 5G development is also due to security concerns, since it could potentially allow China to access other foreign networks. While AT&T declined to comment, the carrier did tell Reuters it had made no decisions on 5G suppliers.

The news comes after AT&T was reportedly pressured into dropping the deal earlier this month — due to a letter written by a group of lawmakers to the Federal Communications Commission expressing their concerns over Huawei’s plans to sell its products through a U.S. carrier, The Information reports. The letter specifically cited Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government — a concern that has caused the company difficulty breaking into the U.S. in the past.

But AT&T isn’t the only carrier that might be giving into the pressure. According to Android Police, a source familiar with Verizon’s plans says the carrier is reportedly also planning on canceling the launch of a Huawei smartphone later this year.

While it’s unclear whether Verizon was planning on selling the Mate 10 or the Mate 10 Pro, the launch was originally supposed to happen this summer and was pushed back to the fall season instead. Following the recent events with AT&T, it seems Verizon is now supposedly canceling the launch altogether — also due to security reasons.

Huawei already sells budget devices in the U.S., but not through carriers — they can be purchased through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other retailers. It also sold the Mate 9 through Amazon, after a soft launch during CES 2017.

Regardless, Huawei will still launch the Mate 10 Pro in the U.S. on February 18 for $800. You’ll be able to purchase it through Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft stores, Newegg, and B&H Photo. For more details on the launch and the device, be sure to check out our news post.

Challenges for Huawei

In addition to security concerns, there have also been technical obstacles when it comes to cellular standards. The Mate 10 Pro is sold as a GSM mobile device internationally, but since Sprint and Verizon use CDMA networks, Huawei would have to adapt its processors to be compatible with those networks.

Security and technological issues aside, being able to sell its devices via U.S. carriers would solve the lack of presence Huawei has in the country. By selling a flagship line to U.S. carriers, the company would work to possibly grow its presence via U.S. retailer stores, TV commercials, and carrier websites. Sources told Bloomberg that Huawei does plan to sell the Mate 10 device via ecommerce channels as well.

Regardless of the competition, Huawei is still the third-largest smartphone manufacturer — behind Apple and Samsung. The earliest reports claimed Xiaomi — another hugely popular Chinese smartphone brand — was also in discussions with U.S. carriers.

Update: U.S. lawmakers are reportedly urging AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei 


McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.