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HUAWEI re-releases another 2019 phone, but it can't do this forever

This isn't the first time HUAWEI's circumvented the HUAWEI ban by rebranding an old device. How long can it keep this up?

Published onJanuary 13, 2020

HUAWEI P30 Lite New Edition

Recently, Huawei quietly launched a “new” smartphone: the HUAWEI P30 Lite New Edition. As one would expect from the name, the device is a slight refresh of the P30 Lite launched in early 2019.

On the outside, the device looks essentially the same as the 2019 edition of the HUAWEI P30 Lite. It even comes in the same colors: Midnight Black, Pearl White, Peacock Blue, and Breathing Crystal.

The only real differences between this New Edition and the old model are the RAM and internal storage configurations. Previously, the most common variant of the P30 Lite had just 4GB of RAM, but that gets bumped up to 6GB in the New Edition. Likewise, all variants of the original P30 Lite maxed-out at 128GB of internal storage, but the New Edition has 256GB on offer.

Other than those two subtle differences, the HUAWEI P30 Lite New Edition is the same as the phone the company launched in 2019. That includes the design, processor, display resolution, camera configurations, etc. Most importantly, the P30 Lite New Edition, just like the original, will come with support for Google apps.

Related: HUAWEI P40 series launch confirmed, still no Google apps

That last part is the likely reason HUAWEI is launching this New Edition. As we explain in this article, certifications for Google app support are tied to model numbers of smartphones, which means HUAWEI is still legally able to re-launch the same phone with slightly-tweaked specs or designs without violating the United States ban on HUAWEI. This New Edition represents a stopgap solution to the HUAWEI ban, as it allows the company to launch a “new” device, keep Google apps on board, and stay fresh in the mind of consumers.

The HUAWEI P30 Lite New Edition will be available in the United Kingdom starting on January 15, 2020. It will be priced at £299 (~$389). It will likely come to other markets soon.

This isn’t the first time HUAWEI has launched a slightly-refreshed device since the HUAWEI ban took effect. Towards the end of 2019, it refreshed the color scheme of the HUAWEI P30 Pro, and the HONOR 9X is essentially just a re-branded HONOR P Smart Z. Obviously, the company can only do this for so long before the “new” devices will be too out-dated for re-release.

The upcoming HUAWEI P40 Pro, however, is unlikely to be another refresh. All signs point to HUAWEI launching that device as a completely new phone, albeit without Google apps on board, as it did with the HUAWEI Mate 30 series.

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