Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi are reportedly in discussions with carriers AT&T and Verizon, who may begin selling each company’s flagship Android smartphones in the United States as early as next year.
The negotiations are still in progress, and it’s possible no final agreements will materialize, according to Bloomberg News.
The news echoes an earlier report from The Information that claimed AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell at least one Huawei smartphone, which was believed to be a high-end model resembling the company’s flagship Mate 10 handset.
A partnership with AT&T and/or Verizon would be a major win for Huawei, already the world’s third largest smartphone maker by market share behind Samsung and Apple, which dominate the smartphone market in the United States.
Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Europe and Canada, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States since no major carriers sell its smartphones in the country.
American customers currently have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone.
If it wants to achieve its lofty goal of becoming the largest smartphone maker in the entire world by 2021, Huawei will almost certainly have to secure these types of agreements with AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers.
Huawei remained in third place with an estimated 39.1 million smartphone shipments worldwide last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, while Apple reported sales of 46.7 million iPhones over that period.
In the United States, Huawei held just a 0.2 percent share of the smartphone market as of June 2017, according to Counterpoint Research.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi said it aims to roll out smartphones in the United States within two years. Xiaomi is also considering opening retail stores in the country to increase its brand presence, according to the report.
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