Germany is working with the European Commission to force smartphone companies, including the likes of Apple and Samsung, to provide 7 years of updates and spare parts, in an attempt to address e-waste issues.
The EU is already looking to legislate 5 years of support, a number which smartphone OEMs under the guise of the industry advocacy group DigitalEurope (which has Apple, Google, and Samsung as some of its key members) already protesting about.
Samsung notes that smartphone owners barely kept their phone for 2 years, saying , “while the average initial usage time was around 21 months in 2015, we were able to increase this to an average of 29 months in 2020,” suggesting the three-year requirement from the company is sufficient. The company already offers 4 years of security updates.
Smartphone OEMs also want to limit hardware support to only batteries and screens, but Germany is not satisfied with this limited support, suggesting companies need to be able to deliver any spare part needed within 5 days, and with phones being replaced if companies can not meet the deadline.
The European Commission is taking the proposals under advisement, saying the Ministry of Economic Affairs saying point will “have to be discussed”.
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