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This country wants to make smartphone manufacturers provide 7 years of software updates, claims report

Readers might recall that last year, the EU was working on legislation that could mandate hardware and spare part support for smartphone and provide software updates for five years.
Readers might recall that last year, the EU was working on legislation that could mandate hardware and spare part support for smartphone and provide software updates for five years. (Pixabay)

Smartphone manufacturers in Germany could be forced to update their devices for seven years, while spare parts will also need to be provided in a timely manner for a specified period, according to a new report.

Software updates are an important part of selecting a smartphone to buy, as providing bug fixes and security updates can help enhance the user experience long after the smartphone has been purchased. However, the reality is that several smartphone manufacturers only update their devices for one or two years, while regular security updates are not very common among most manufacturers. However, a new report claims that a German government body plans to make it a requirement for smartphone manufacturers to provide software updates for seven years.

Readers might recall that last year, the EU was working on legislation that could mandate hardware and spare part support for devices and provide software support for five years. However, XDA spotted a report in Heise Online, that quotes a spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics who said that the body was planning to put in place rules that would require software updates for seven years, as well as spare parts support during that time.

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This is great news for smartphone owners in Germany, if such a rule is imposed. Smartphone manufacturers would be forced to provide seven years of security updates, which would help to reduce the amount of e-waste from outdated smartphones. These devices could also theoretically run faster for longer with extended support, which saves more money for the consumer in the long run as they won’t have to buy smartphones very often. Currently, only a handful of smartphone manufacturers offer three years of software support – such as Google (Pixel), Samsung (Galaxy A, S and Note series). Samsung also offers a total of four years of security updates, while Apple will soon update the six-year-old iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to iOS 15 later this year.

Meanwhile, the report also states that the government body could also be looking to improve the speed at which spare parts are delivered, so that customers can repair their smartphones quickly. This is because delays could pause deter a customer from repairing their device, which might nudge them to get a new device. However while the report does not mention any delivery timeline, the Eu has previously proposed a five day limit for deliveries.

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