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Huawei gets around Android ban with ‘new’ P30 Pro design

Huawei gets around Android ban with ‘new’ P30 Pro design


A new phone that isn’t new at all

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Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

As we await Huawei’s Mate 30 launch later this month, the company has revealed a “new” redesigned P30 Pro. Unlike the existing P30 Pro, it comes in a two-tone matte and glossy finish, in either blue or lavender. While the design is new, this P30 Pro also comes with Android 10 preinstalled, which is a clever way for Huawei to launch a “new” device with Google’s latest Android operating system.

Just like the existing P30 Pro, these new color options have Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor inside. Huawei also launched its latest Kirin 990 chip today, with a built-in 5G modem. This processor will power the new Mate 30 when it’s unveiled later this month, and it’s certainly going to be an interesting launch to watch. Google revealed last month that Huawei’s Mate 30 won’t be able to ship with Google’s apps and services on board, which means the device isn’t certified for Google Play Store access. That leaves Huawei in the position of having to ship the Mate 30 without access to Google’s key apps outside of China. We’ll find out exactly what’s going to happen when Huawei launches the Mate 30 on September 19th.

The White House previously banned US companies (like Google) from doing business with Huawei, and the phone maker was granted a three-month extension from the US Commerce Department back in May to provide software updates to existing devices. This was extended again to November 19th, but again only covering existing handsets. It looks like until the ban is fully resolved, Huawei will be left having to cleverly redesign existing devices with the latest software updates to keep markets like Europe and the US interested in handsets that still have Google Play access.

Huawei could have had this modest redesign for the P30 Pro in the works for months, but the timing suggests it’s an interesting work around for the ban on new Android devices. Huawei hasn’t given exact pricing or availability for this updated P30 Pro, but the company has revealed its latest EMUI10 update (based on Android 10) and it will be available in beta this month.