AT&T has never confirmed reports that such a deal was under consideration and it again refused to comment on the matter on January 8 in an email exchange with eWEEK.
If you'll recall, Huawei has reportedly been in talks for quite some time to debut its latest flagship, the Mate 10 Pro, on a couple of major USA carriers.
That placed Huawei's smartphones at a considerable disadvantage compared to Apple, Samsung and other phone makers whose products are readily available from mobile carriers' stores. The letter, which was seen by The Information, reportedly "cited an intelligence committee report on Huawei's alleged ties to the Communist Party as well as China's intelligence and security services". According to the source, Verizon meant to sell the Huawei Mate 10 this summer, but it had recently been pushed back to fall, and now it appears there is a strong likelihood it will be cancelled altogether.
An expected partnership with USA carrier AT&T to distribute Huawei phones in the United States appeared to have fallen through, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
For the average consumer, the report might dissuade some from purchasing the new smartphone. Later, The Information came out to say that this was due to "political pressure", as intelligence committees from the US Senate and House had pegged Huawei as a security threat. National security leaders were anxious about potential backdoors being introduced into American telecommunications networks thanks to Huawei equipment, and National Security Agency director Michael Rogers and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey personally spoke to AT&T executives to cancel the deal.
Sure, it sold phones unlocked through online retailers, but the only way to sell a real number of phones is via carrier partnerships. Thanks to Project Treble, a generic build of AOSP Android Oreo without any Huawei software can be installed on the Mate 10 Pro (as I have done on my own device). We'll update this story should things change tomorrow.
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