Huawei has never felt like a huge player in the US smartphone market. It does quite well internationally – this year its market share has roughly been on par with those of ZTE and LG, as the big three Android OEMs after Samsung – but that’s largely due to success in Asia and (to a growing extent) in Europe. We’ve been hopeful that Huawei might put some effort into raising its US presence, helping to deliver the sort of well-built, very affordable mid-rangers as been seeing with models like the Moto G. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that will happen anytime soon, as Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei has been talking about his wishes to leave the US market behind.
In the interview, Ren cites a desire to avoid the accusations being thrown around in the US that Huawei is acting as an agent of the Chinese government, using its devices to spy on American companies. In light of this issue, and the heated tempers on both sides, Ren announced, “therefore, we have decided to exit the U.S. market, and not stay in the middle.”
But does that mean “exit” exit? No more Huawei phones in the US at all? It’s not yet fully clear, and Ren might be speaking a little hyperbolicly. At least, a Huawei exec in the US calls the words “a comment on the current market environment,” and the company is clear that current US sales are actually doing pretty well.