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Nope, AT&T isn't selling a Huawei phone

The Chinese phone maker was widely expected to announce its first big partnership with AT&T. That isn't the case.

huawei-mate-10-pro-22

Huawei is reportedly set to unveil the US availability of the Mate 10 -- just not with AT&T.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Chinese phone maker Huawei has long sought to break into the US market through a partnership with one of the big US national carriers. 

CES 2018 appeared to be that time, with the industry widely anticipating Huawei to announce the availability of the Mate 10 Pro in the US with AT&T as its retail partner. AT&T will not be part of a Huawei announcement on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that AT&T had pulled out of a deal to sell Huawei phones. 

Huawei will still announce US availability of its phones, but likely through other channels like online or retail. 

The lack of a US partner is a setback for Huawei, which has lofty ambitions about its growth and is already the world's third-largest vendor by market share. Despite its size elsewhere around the world, it has yet to break into the US market aside from budget phones at the prepaid carriers. For consumers, it means one less option on the shelf for an Android phone, which CNET editor Andrew Hoyle compared favorably to the Galaxy Note 8.

An AT&T spokesman declined to comment, noting that the company hasn't commented on this rumor for the past few months. 

A Huawei spokeswoman declined to comment, but said the company would introduce new products to the US on Tuesday. 

Just don't hold your breath for an AT&T executive to show up.

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