Huawei was ready to enter 2018 swinging. Before the end of 2017 we heard that the company was already in talks to bring one of its devices, more than likely the company's flagship smartphone, to at least one wireless carrier in the United States. That handset turned out to be the Mate 10 Pro, but, alas, just before Huawei was set to make the announcement at CES 2018, AT&T pulled out of the talks and Huawei was left to launch the device as an unlocked model in the U.S.
It's not a perfect scenario for Huawei, of course. It's better than nothing, at least. Huawei doesn't necessarily have a household name in the U.S. just yet, but it looks like the company wants to make inroads to change that. 2018 was going to be the start, but they will apparently have to wait a bit longer, and work out a few more deals, before they can have their big debut on a U.S. network.
Getting there is important for Huawei, and for any other company that isn't yet available to buy from a U.S. carrier.
OnePlus is one of those. This is a company that has made a name for itself thanks to its unlocked handsets, especially because they are top-tier smartphones what are priced aggressively. Still, OnePlus hasn't had the impact in the U.S. market yet because, simply put, none of their devices have been in a wireless carrier's retail store.
In the U.S., buying a phone is primarily done through the carrier a customer uses. Whether that's because of the monthly installments handled by the carrier, or huge deals put in place to knock off the full retail price, that's just the way things go. So for a company like OnePlus, or Huawei, or Vivo, or Xiaomi, getting a phone in those stores is vital to making an impact in that market.
In theory, anyway. There are a lot of factors that can make that possibility a reality, or simply fade out. The device itself has to be worth owning, for instance. And then those companies, like OnePlus, need to somehow make sure that their devices are getting seen in those retail stores. Because Samsung, LG, and other companies already have a foothold in there, as well as brand recognition. And it's not like those companies are going to start making bad phones (hopefully), so OnePlus won't get any help there.
My question to all of you is this: If you haven't picked up a OnePlus phone yet, but have been tempted to, would you pull the trigger on a purchase if the company's flagship handset was available from a U.S. carrier? Let me know!