Huawei reportedly plans US smartphone launch in 2018

The flagship Mate 10 will be the Chinese handset giant's first smartphone entry in the US, the Associated Press reports.

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Steven Musil
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Huawei reportedly plans to crack the US smartphone market with its flagship Mate 10.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Chinese phone maker Huawei plans to begin selling smartphones through a US carrier next year, an executive for the company told the Associated Press on Monday.

Richard Yu, the president of Huawei Technologies' consumer business, told the news agency its flagship Mate 10 would be the first handset offered but declined to discuss a price or identify which carrier or carriers would sell the phone. Yu said he will announce details at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Huawei has been best known in Asia and Europe for its networking equipment, but over the past few years its smartphone sales have skyrocketed. It hasn't yet had a big break in the US, partly because of lack of brand recognition and partly because Apple and Samsung dominate that market.

The world's largest handset maker has a small presence in the US, mostly through online sales of its budget phones since 2014, and earlier this year, it started selling its premium Mate 9 through sites like Amazon and Best Buy. IDC predicts Huawei will overtake Apple this year or next to become the world's second-largest handset maker.

Yu told CNET in October that Huawei was working on a foldable phone that could launch as soon as next year. Huawei would join a growing list of companies hoping to deliver a foldable phone, considered a radical change in handset design.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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