T-Mobile won the suit, kind of. The jury said that Huawei’s actions were not “willful and malicious”, and the verdict was a $4.8 million court ruling in T-Mobile’s favor, just a fraction of what the carrier sought.
Huawei vs T-Mobile: Patents without permission
That’s not the only chapter in the contentious history of T-Mobile and Huawei. In 2016, Huawei filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile alleging that T-Mobile was using several 4G patents from the Chinese company, and refusing to make a license deal for them. While revenge may have been a motivating factor, it’s worth noting that in the same period, Huawei started aggressively defending its patents, clashing in court with Samsung and Nokia.
So while T-Mobile could stand to profit from being the only US carrier to defy political pressure and offer the Huawei Mate 10 Pro to US customers, it’s highly unlikely that this will be enough to overcome the history of conflict and lack of trust between the US carrier and the Chinese smartphone giant.
With the situation as it stands, there’s the possibility that another major competitor, Sprint, could step as a carrier for Huawei flagships, but given all the difficulty so far, it’s likely that US consumers will only be able to get the Mate 10 Pro unlocked, paying up front.
The lure of profit can make strange bedfellows. Are you still hoping that T-Mobile could carry the Mate 10 Pro, despite this bad blood? Or would you be satisfied with buying an unlocked one?