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Huawei to cooperate with AT&T in hopes of closing the gap with Apple

Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei has allegedly closed a deal with U.S. telecom operator AT&T to help the Chinese brand compete with Apple in the U.S. for phone sales.

Huawei’s upcoming flagship smartphone is expected to be sold exclusively through AT&T in the first half of next year, San Francisco-based The Information reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The cooperation will reportedly help Huawei close the gap with international giants like Apple and Samsung.

The gap between Apple and Huawei has been shrinking over the past few years as the Chinese company continues to increase phone sales. In 2016, Apple and Huawei sold 215 million and 139 million smartphones, respectively, while data for the first half of 2016 saw a narrower gap at 92.6 million and 72.7 million, respectively.

Huawei’s smartphone sales have also witnessed faster growth than Apple. It has grabbed the sales champion’s seat in China and the second-place seat in Europe. In 2015, the sale growth rate of Huawei and Apple were 20 percent and 37 percent, respectively. The data became 30.2 percent and minus 7 percent already in 2016.

The deal with AT&T will give Huawei new opportunity to take on Apple, as it has only been selling smartphones through retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Meanwhile, the revenue gap between the two companies remains huge. Apple yielded $215.6 billion last year, while Huawei only gained 37.9 percent of that amount. On smartphones specifically, Huawei’s revenue made up 2 percent of Apple’s, which topped at $44.9 billion.

[ Editor: Wang Peiyao ]