What you need to know
- Germany has announced that it would soon require smartphone makers to support their devices for at least seven years.
- The proposed legislation aims to protect the environment by making it easier for consumers to hold on to their phones for longer.
- Most Android OEMs currently support their phones for three years or less.
The German federal government wants the European Union to require smartphone makers to promise at least seven years of security updates for their devices. As per Heise Online, Germany has also requested the European Union to make it mandatory for manufacturers to publish prices of spare parts and maintain the same prices for seven years.
As you would expect, smartphone makers aren't too happy with the proposed legislation. DigitalEurope, which is an industry association with Samsung, Apple, and Huawei as its members, wants regulators to make three years of security updates the norm for everyone.
Currently, most Android phones and tablets receive security updates for three years or less. The only Android devices that are guaranteed to receive four years of security updates are the best Android phones from Samsung and OnePlus. Google's upcoming Pixel 6 series phones, however, are rumored to get up to five years of Android updates.
While it remains to be seen if the European Union will accept Germany's request, the EU Commission is expected to enact its policy requiring phones to receive at least five years of security updates by 2023. Aside from requiring manufacturers to keep their devices secure, the rules also require them to make spare easily available to consumers and start using replaceable batteries.
It isn't just Europe that is pushing for Right to Repair laws. Earlier this year, President Biden signed an executive order asking the FTC to come up with new rules to make it easier for consumers to repair devices such as phones and PCs.