Android Police says that Google already had Huawei in mind to manufacture the Google Pixelphones that are now being made by HTC. The smartphone blog says it had a conversation with “people familiar with Huawei’s operations” which gave them, and now us, an inside look at what went down behind the scenes between Google and the Chinese smartphone maker, Huawei.
When Google brought Huawei onto the Nexus project to make the Nexus 6P, initially, Google told Huawei that the phone would be sold in all four major carriers. This immediately caught Huawei’s attention, as the company had been looking for the best way to enter the US market. Now, while the Nexus 6P was compatible with all four major US carriers’ networks, not one of them actually sold the Nexus 6P.
In addition to the promise of being sold in all four carrier stores across the country, Google also agreed to collaborate with Huawei and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise the Nexus 6P. Google made the first promise with Huawei a bit too early, as its talks with the carriers didn’t make it all the way through. Perhaps carriers didn’t want to bother with another Nexus phone as the Motorola-made Nexus 6 (which did sell through all major US carriers) perhaps didn’t meet carriers’ sales expectations.
Shortly after the launch of the Nexus 5X and 6P, Huawei was approached again by Google about its plans for the year’s portfolio. Google wanted Huawei to build the Pixel phones, but Google’s condition was that the phones would be Google-branded. At this moment, Huawei was like: ‘um, no’ and immediately ended negotiations with Google. This is where HTC came in and won the bid instead.
Huawei still hasn’t found that entry-point for the US market that it’s looking for, the Honor 8smartphone unfortunately didn’t meet expectations and there are even reports of Huawei laying off most of the Huawei US team just a few weeks after the initial sales for the Honor 8. Ironically, the Pixel phones would have been a great entry-point for Huawei at this point in time. Although the Pixel phones would be Google-branded, it would have given Huawei a better chance of selling phones to US carriers in the near-future as the manufacturer of those smartphones.
The source reports that Huawei’s relationship with Google “remains strong”, with ongoing collaborations that include a previously rumored tablet to be manufactured by Huawei. There are also reports of Google soliciting companies (including Huawei) to build a mid-range device for mid-2017 sadly there’s no other information about the latter.