At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Huawei CEO Richard Yu had something more to say than just showcasing the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, going off script by the end of his keynote.
It's not a stretch to believe that this stems from the falling-out of the deal between the company and AT&T to sell Huawei phones in the United States through a carrier.
CES 2018 was supposed to be the event that marked the entry of the world's third-largest smartphone maker into the U.S. market, but at the last minute, AT&T backed out of the agreement and left the Chinese brand all on its own to fend for itself in the local mobile scene, which is hard to penetrate without any form of carrier support.
Huawei CEO Blasts US Carriers
After the Huawei Mate 10 Pro presentation, Yu pulled up a slide that read "Something I Want To Share." He then proceeded to explain that if Huawei products weren't readily available, it's a "big loss" for not only the company itself and carriers but also for the consumers "because they don't have the best choice for devices."
"We win the trust of the Chinese carriers, we win the trust of the emerging markets ... and also, we win the trust of the global carriers, all the European and Japanese carriers. We are serving over 70 million people worldwide. We've proven our quality. We've proven our privacy and security protection," he said.
This seems like it was all unplanned too. As Vlad Savov of The Verge points out, the teleprompters were blank, meaning that it's likely an impromptu speech.
Why Did AT&T Back Out?
According to The New York Times, AT&T faced political pressure to go through with the deal with Huawei, with the concern of Congress being in "Chinese espionage." It should be noted that the letter the news outlet reviewed didn't specifically mention AT&T, but reports of the two companies inking an agreement have been widespread long before this development.
Verizon is also under the same pressure as AT&T, according to Android Police.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro US Availability
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro will still be available as an unlocked device in the United States, and it's going to be up for preorder starting on Feb. 4 and hit the shelves on Feb. 18 with a $799 price tag.
Interestingly, Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot has just been named as the company's brand ambassador or Chief Experience Officer.