It’s fair to say that Google did a pretty good job with the Pixel phones. Critics and customers are over the moon with its build quality, specs, camera and software. In fact, many of them think it might be the best phone money can buy.

That’s a huge achievement for Google’s first phone, but it’s also a massive accolade for HTC, who manufactured the phone on behalf of the search giant. However, there’s an alternative reality where instead of HTC picking up the plaudits for the Pixel’s build quality, Huawei are doing it instead.

Back when Google’s Pixel smartphones were still gestating in the rumour mill, it was suggested that Huawei and HTC were going to share production duties on the smartphones. Back then, it was hypothesized that these smartphones might well be new Nexus smartphones, but it quickly transpired that they would be ‘Google’ phones, first and foremost.

That clear relegation of the hardware partner didn’t sit well with Huawei, according to reports, who wanted their branding on the phone. The two companies reached an impasse and, upon hearing that HTC didn’t mind, Google opted to go with the Korean company. At least, that’s how Huawei exec Colin Giles tells the story.

So, next time you get your hands on a Google Pixel phone think of Huawei, and how it could have been so different.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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