Germany wants the European Union to force smartphone makers to offer software updates and spare parts for at least 7 years, as revealed by the Heise media (via 9to5Google). The proposals of the Federal Government of the country would suppose a modification of the environmental measures that the EU wants to impose. These will also allow to extend the useful life of mobile devices.
Specifically, the European Commission intends to oblige manufacturers to distribute, at a minimum, 5 years of security updates and 3 years of functional updates (referring to new versions of Android or iOS). The new measures would also force companies to offer spare parts, such as camera modules, batteries, displays and other components, to third-party repair services for the same period of time. To Germany, however, 5 years of updates does not seem enough.
The country is talking with the EU to extend the update period for two more years and thus extend the life of smartphones up to 7 years. The Federal Government also requires reasonable prices for spare parts and faster delivery times. The measures, however, do not seem to convince the European association of the technology industry. DigitalEurope, in particular, proposes 3 years of security updates.
Smartphones 3 years of security updates: is it enough?
Apple and Google offer regular security updates that guarantee protection against vulnerabilities. The Cupertino company has excellent update support. IPhones older than 5 years, for example, still receive security updates and new versions. On Android, on the other hand, the picture is somewhat different.
Most smartphones only support two major updates. Security updates, on the other hand, they are done for 3 years at best. Samsung is one of the few manufacturers that has committed to updating their smartphones for 5 years. However, this support is only available for some of its models.
Beyond upgrades and spare parts, the European Union also aims to force manufacturers to include an energy label on their smartphones —As it happens with electrical appliances—, that shows the energy efficiency and resistance of the device. The measures will also force smartphone batteries to have 80 percent of their capacity after 500 charge cycles.