The world’s two largest smartphone markets were almost entirely dominated by Chinese manufacturers between July and September, begging the obvious question of when might the US follow this trend.
After all, Huawei has already proven its international force, threatening Apple’s second place in global shipments, while Xiaomi continues to make great strides in India, where it could soon snatch Samsung’s volume crown away.
Ironically, ZTE is China’s best-positioned OEM for American growth, despite scoring significantly humbler domestic sales numbers. But it’s just a matter of time before Huawei brings its first flagship device to a major US carrier (or two), and Xiaomi may not be far behind its bitter rival.
“People familiar with the matter” tell Bloomberg both companies are in advanced talks with wireless service providers “including” AT&T and Verizon, although discussions are “still fluid and it’s possible no agreements will materialize.”
AT&T, which already supports the ZTE Axon M, seems a lot closer than Big Red to also pick up the Huawei Mate 10 and/or Mate 10 Pro. As for Xiaomi, we have no idea what part of its extensive product portfolio is eyed for an official US expansion, but the “Apple of China” has long been preparing its own network certification process.
Even a semi-successful conclusion to ongoing negotiations could deal a blow to the country’s top two vendors, especially as the Mate 10 (and likely, one or two Xiaomi devices) are also expected to sell stateside through e-commerce channels including Amazon.