When news broke out that Google was turning to HTC for its its upcoming Pixel smartphones, some may be wondering why the tech giant was not partnering with Huawei. After all, their most recent collaboration, the Nexus 6P, was considered by many industry watchers and consumers alike as an impressive phablet offering. But it appears that the Chinese phone maker was beginning to have some frustrations with the way its Nexus partnership with Google was going, and as a result, passed on the chance to build the new Pixel devices.
According to a report published by Android Police, Huawei seems to be not that enthusiastic about plans by Google to take more control over its Android mobile operating system, including making a move to remove Huawei’s branding from future collaborative efforts. Of course, Huawei would mind -- the Chinese mobile manufacturer, after all, is looking to improve its presence in the United States mobile market. Joining forces with Google is cool and all, but if it is reduced to a sort of contract phone builder, it may not do much in helping built its brand among American consumers.
It does not help that despite wowing critics, the release of the Nexus 6P did not go smoothly as planned. Google had apparently promised that the Nexus 6P would be pushed by all of the Big Four (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), but this plan never saw the light of day. The result was that until now, the Nexus 6P is primarily being distributed through Google’s and Huawei’s stores.
To be clear about all of this, Huawei has not completely severed its ties with Google. There are even rumors that Huawei will still be building a Google device to be released next year. But from the Chinese phone maker’s standpoint, it might be starting to feel that it just can not catch a break in America. To date, the only device of Huawei’s that has gotten some attention from American mobile users is the affordable Honor 5X. All other supposedly high profile releases, like the GX8 and the MateBook devices, were just not faring well sales wise.
Before HTC entered the picture, Huawei was actually a likely candidate to build the new Pixel handsets. But Google had firm rules with regards to the finished product -- the Huawei brand will not appear on any of the devices. The Chinese phone maker must have found this unacceptable, so it said no thanks. Google was forced to go to option B, and that is how HTC reportedly got the gig.
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