Huawei's clever workaround to Android ban? Launching 'new' versions of its P30 Pro

PHOTO: YouTube screengrab/Android Central

[UPDATE, Sep 9]:

Article amended to reflect that the P30 Pro was launched this year, not last year as originally stated. 


As we’re edging closer to see the start of a Google-less future for Huawei with its upcoming Mate 30 series, the Chinese tech company still has some tricks up its sleeve to get around the ongoing Android ban.

Launching on Sep 19, Huawei’s Mate 30 won’t be equipped with Google’s apps and services like Gmail, Maps or Chrome — it doesn’t even have a license to access the Google Play Store.

But the US government isn’t banning Google from providing its services for Huawei’s existing devices that already are Android-licensed. 

So what can Huawei do? Re-release a flagship phone under the guise of being “new” without it being technically new? 

That's exactly what the company did at the IFA 2019 in Berlin, where Huawei released a redesigned version of its P30 Pro smartphones that comes in two colours. Hey, you do what you can to stay relevant. 

Inside the “new” models, nothing has changed from the existing P30 Pro, which was released back in March. Well, except Huawei’s EMUI 10 software (based on the Android 10), which will be coming to all older P30 models eventually anyway.

You only see the difference on the outside, where the two new colour options — Mystic Blue and Misty Lavender — sport two-tone finishes: glossy at the top sections, brushed matte on the bottom.

It’s definitely a lot less ostentatious than current iterations of the P30 Pros and harks to the subtle two-tone finishes of the Google Pixel.

Paying homage to Google’s own handsets and giving props to Android 10 at IFA 2019 is a smart move to endear Huawei to the American tech giant.

Refreshing current phones to extend its lifeline in the European and US market is even smarter — and it certainly helps that the P30 Pro has been considered one of the best Android handsets in the market. 

Be that as it may, but future Huawei devices won’t have access to Google services, apps, and the app store.

Sure, it can run the open-source version of the Android operating system, but it won’t have Google’s blessing, i.e. everything it needs to have third-party apps functioning properly.

Until the White House decides to let US companies do business with Huawei again (an unlikely possibility anytime soon), the Chinese tech giant will be forced to launch its own HarmonyOS next year. 

ilyas@asiaone.com

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