Huawei unveils its latest P20 smartphone amidst US ban

Huawei Technologies recently unveiled its latest flagship P20 smartphone. The phone is being seen by some as the company’s  challenger to Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9.
The smartphone is approximately 5.8 inches in size and also features an edge-to-edge display, and a 6.1-inch Pro model also has three camera lenses on the back: one for colour, one for black-and-white shots and one designed for close-ups. However both versions have screens with a “notch” at the top similar to that seen on the iPhone X.

Last year alone, Huawei sold the third most smartphones globally with 11 percent of the market, trailing Samsung’s 22 percent and Apple’s 15 percent, according to data from IDC. IDC report also showed that the company is also the only one of the top three players to consistently gain market share year-over-year since 2014.

However amidst the latest controversy surrounding the company, NSA, FBI, and CIA, have all recommended that US citizens don’t use Huawei devices. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. — the top two US phone carriers — have also decided to not sell the company’s products following government concern. As most phones in the US are bought via carriers, it certainly seems like a disadvantage for the company.

But direct retail channels like that of Amazon will still be able to sell Huawei’s smartphone in the US. However,  Best Buy Co., the largest electronics chain in the US, has severed ties with the company and plans to stop selling all of its products in the coming weeks. Huawei doesn’t currently plan to sell the new model via its remaining US channels either.

So all in all it will be Amazon and Walmart who will be able to sell the phone online and also brick-and-mortar sales.

Jia Mo, a Canalys analyst based in Shanghai  says, “Both channels are mainly responsible for sales of affordable devices and that doesn’t help improve Huawei’s brand image”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has also proposed a ban on allowing US wireless carriers to use government subsidies toward telecom equipment from China-based manufacturers such as Huawei. This might prove to be more bad news for the company.

John Butler, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence also went on to explain how the US ban is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Huawei’s business as its growth in the region has been close to flat while it “has gained share year-in and year-out on a global basis.”

 

 

 

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