Smartphones Should Have at Least Seven Years of Support, Software Update, & Spare Parts - Potential Legal Requirement in Germany
(Photo : Image from Unsplash Website) Smartphones Should Have at Least Seven Years of Support, Software Update, & Spare Parts - Potential Legal Requirement in Germany

A new potential legal requirement in Germany could demand that smartphones should have at least seven years of support, software update, and spare parts. As of the moment, not all phones can last up to seven years and are dropped from software updates and spare parts before this timeframe.

Android Software Update

According to the story by SlashGear, the Android software update situation has actually gotten better in the past year or two. Some manufacturers are reportedly boasting at least three years of actual support.

Although this is still better than before, many users and some regulators think companies should do better, almost reaching Apple's level. There are still some efforts in the European Union to be able to actually enforce longer periods of support for smartphones. The Samsung A21 catching fire on an airplane incident shows that not all parts, however, could be good for the long term.

Germany Requirement on Smartphones

As of the moment, however, it seems like Germany is really wanting to go all out when it comes to the thrust by trying to push a new legally required minimum for spare parts and software updates to seven years. Aside from the needed time and human resources, there are also a number of technical reasons why software support for phones should only be three years.

Smartphone hardware has immensely gotten powerful enough to be able to support other foreseeable new features for years in the future. However, if software complexity is able to surpass hardware capabilities, the security patches and fixes do not actually incur the same performance overhead as the major platform then upgrades.

European Union on Software Updates

As of the moment, the period of support is really just an industry standard developed by a certain unspoken agreement among certain companies. A number of countries, however, really want to actually put this particular practice in black and white and legally compel certain smartphone vendors in order to abide by it.

For example, the European Union actually wants smartphones to get five years of software updates while requiring the availability of spare parts during the same period. Germany currently wants to take things much further and is now negotiating with the EU for a much longer period, according to heise.de.

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Is This Sustainable

As of the moment, it wants software updates to be available for a full seven years, and that particular spare parts should be reasonably priced during that period as well. Naturally, companies that are behind those smartphones do not really agree with the EU proposals, let alone the more aggressive push of Germany. 

The industry advocate group DigitalEurope that is representing Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, currently wants to standardize the status quo. This means two years of feature updates and three years of security updates which already surpasses both Samsung and Google. With new technology like the Samsung S22 vapor chamber being canceled, new innovations could make it harder for manufacturers to support the technology for seven years.

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Written by Urian B.

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