In negotiations with the EU Commission, the German government wants to push for strict environmental rules for smartphones and tablets. Manufacturers of smartphones and tablets are to provide their devices with necessary software updates for seven years.
Increasing the service life
As reported by the online magazine heise.de, citing a spokeswoman for the German Federal Ministry of Economics, the German government wants to extend the service life of smartphones and tablets in the interests of the environment. The demand: devices should still be supplied with the necessary software updates and spare parts seven years after market launch.
This demand goes well beyond the proposals of the EU Commission, which plans to make updates and spare parts mandatory for five years – tablet spare parts should even be available for six years. In addition, the prices for spare parts are to be set by the manufacturers at the start and may not be increased thereafter.
The German government also wants to push for stricter regulations with regard to the speed of delivery of spare parts. According to the EU proposal, the maximum delivery time is to be five working days, but this point still offers cause for discussion, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economics is quoted as saying.
Industry demands only 2 to 3 years
However, the move has drawn criticism from manufacturers, as noted by industry association Digitaleurope, which represents manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei. In a statement, it suggests that manufacturers should provide security updates for three years and function updates for a maximum of two years.
The industry association also disagrees with the obligation to supply spare parts. Manufacturers should only have to supply displays and batteries. Other parts, such as cameras, microphones, speakers and connectors would rarely fail and would thus fall outside the scope.
Samsung did not want to comment directly on the plans, but replied when asked that they are continuously working on enabling a longer service life of smartphones. Apple, on the other hand, is on the safe side anyway. iOS 15, which is scheduled for release in the coming weeks, is still offered on iPhone models from 2015 (iPhone 6s). So the planned specifications are at least already met in terms of software updates.