UPDATE 1-AT&T walks away from deal to sell Huawei smartphones -WSJ

(Adds comments from Huawei, adds AT&T declines to comment, adds that neither company confirmed talks)

Jan 8 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, has backed off from a deal to sell smartphones made by Chinese Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Neither company has ever confirmed that they were in talks. But the Journal reported that Huawei, the world's No. 3 smartphone maker by shipments last year, was expected to announce that it had struck an agreement with AT&T at a Las Vegas trade show on Tuesday.(http://on.wsj.com/2CSgV32)

AT&T declined to comment. In a statement, Huawei spokesman Charles Zinkowski said the company would announce new products for the U.S. market on Tuesday "including availability" but did not give further details. Huawei phones are available for purchase in the United States but have never been distributed by a major carrier.

Over the past five years Huawei has proven itself by delivering premium devices with integrity globally and in the U.S. market," Zinkowski said in a statement. (Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Anjali Athavaley in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Lisa Shumaker)