This week in Paris, I witnessed a subtle but profound moment of change in the mobile industry. It came when Huawei announced that its next flagship phone, the P20 Pro, will cost € 899 (more than $ 1,100), and no one in the audience blinked, grimaced or expressed dissatisfaction. The company whose name was previously half a rhymed couplet with the words "who are they?" It just came out with a super expensive device to rival the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9, and all were perfectly in agreement with that. Not many phone manufacturers can upgrade to the premium market after starting in the budget segment, but Huawei is doing it at great speed and with great effect.
Almost at the same time as Huawei's triumphant launch on European soil, US electronics retailer Best Buy was cutting ties with the company and discontinuing sales of its products. Earlier this year, AT & T had breached an agreement to sell the Mate 10 Pro smartphone in its carrier stores, reportedly due to pressure from suspicious US authorities. It is believed that Verizon bowed to the same dictation behind the scenes a couple of weeks later, and US intelligence agencies have issued a unanimous advice to the citizens of the country to avoid using Huawei phones. For more than five years, EE. UU He has been issuing unfounded warnings about Huawei's relationship with the Chinese government, and 2018 has highlighted that antagonism.
So Huawei is flourishing and perishing, depending on the geography you look at. The Chinese company is both wanted by the main networks of pan-European operators such as Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, and the untouchable pariah for US operators distrusts their possible links with international espionage. There is an obvious dissonance between these two positions, and it seems remarkable to me that both Germany and the United Kingdom place a lot of trust in Huawei for network equipment. The first is a country famous for being extremely scrupulous about consumer privacy and data security, and the second is the closest political ally in the United States. At this point, it seems that the US spy agencies have to present specific allegations and evidence of irregularities by Huawei, if any, or allow the company to continue its commercial activities. The burden of proof lies with the accusers.
It is an undeniable loss for Huawei to miss one of the largest premium telephony markets in the world just as its premium telephony offer is increasing. But even without US customers UU What would you love to have, I hope this company continues throughout its current upward trajectory. The P20 Pro marks a massive improvement over the mediocre P10 last year, achieving great praise for innovation with its new triple camera system, a slim design that, however, has a battery of 4000 mAh and a magnificent color in two tones that shows Huawei developing his own style and panache.
In my opinion, Huawei is going through the evolution that Samsung suffered over many years, going from being a cowardly imitator of iPhone to a safe design leader, condensed in the span of 12 months. Huawei is already one of the three main telephone providers in the world without a presence in the US market, and the scale of demand in its native China is important enough to compensate for this absence. Specifically on the premium front, the opulent $ 2,600 Porsche Design Mate RS from Huawei (an improved variant of the P20 Pro) has a special red color intended only for mainland China.
Then, the Huawei P20 Pro has a triple camera configuration. Main sensor of 40MP which is TWICE THE SIZE of the S9. A 20MP monochrome and an 8MP telephoto lens. Get a 109 in dXomark (whatever) but take a look at those sample photos. Clean AF.WHY WOULD NOT BRING THEM TO THE UNITED STATEShttps: //t.co/rjJH2iBqJo pic.twitter.com/FICMqoWIWu- Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) March 27, 2018
In all this, the American consumer is losing the most. The telephone market in the United States is, for all practical purposes, a duopoly. Most people get the taste of Samsung or Apple from the cake of smart phones, because Galaxy S and iPhone devices are the most abundant and most advertised in the stores of suppliers. Countless companies have tried and failed in the manufacture of phones without support and support from operators in the United States: Nextbit failed, HTC and Sony failed, Razer is currently failing, and Essential failed spectacularly. Huawei can also be counted among that group, especially now that even Best Buy does not want to touch its products.
The problem with the Samsung-Apple domain in the US UU It is perfectly illustrated by the case of the Galaxy S9 this year, which can be summarized as uncharitable as a Galaxy S8 with the fingerprint sensor in the right place and some horrible emoji ARs thrown. Does the buyer of a phone in the United States do so when Samsung or Apple show complacency, incompetence, conservatism or some combination thereof? What is the alternative plan if you do not want to make the change increasingly difficult to another operating system? If you're on Android, you could try your luck with LG, maybe, but that's the whole. The excellent Google Pixel phones still lack a widespread distribution that has some effect in this situation.
We expect a larger Huawei marketing campaign in Western Europe as the funds planned for the launch of AT & T are likely to be redirected. Huawei will be desperate to obtain participation and compensate for the loss in sales volume in the United States. Bad news for rivals #SeeMooore #OOO pic.twitter.com/vVaZn5JqJk- Ben Wood (@benwood) March 27, 2018
Without Huawei, the US phone market. UU It is poorer than it would be otherwise. Hell, if the P20 Pro turns out to be even two thirds as good as its promised launch event, Americans will have a legitimate reason to complain about not having easy access to one of the best smartphones in the world. With a strong presence in China and greater brand awareness in Europe, Huawei is well positioned to continue growing, even without the considerable momentum that could have been brought by a US operators agreement. UU Industry analysts now expect to see Huawei redirect its US marketing budget without spending to raise the company's profile in Western Europe.
Ultimately, it all boils down to this: Huawei never did a lot of business in the US. UU., So losing opportunities in the market is expensive, but it is not a total disaster; USA The US, on the other hand, has landed in an uncomfortable duopoly situation that strangles consumer choice. The US phone market UU He needs a respectable third player more than what Huawei needs in the US market.