This country wants smartphones to last at least 7 years

The German government has proposed that smartphone brands provide 7 years of security updates. The proposal also states that brands keep the spare parts available at a reasonable price.

Highlights
  • A new German government proposal wants smartphone brands to offer seven years of security updates.
  • The new proposal is two years longer than the European Commission’s own stated proposals.
  • Huawei, Samsung, and Apple are pushing back against Germany’s proposal.

Android phones are slow in receiving software updates when compared to iOS and adding fuel to the fire, OEMs stop supporting a few models just a year after their launch. Flagships and premium mid-range offerings are the only ones that receive security updates for a few years, while OS-level upgrades are limited to two or three years tops. Leading the pack is Samsung, which is promising three years of OS updates and four years of security patches for its notable devices. Now, it looks like the German government wants this to change and wants manufacturers to go even further.

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Germany now wants smartphone manufacturers to deliver at least seven years of security patches and spare part availability, according to a report from Heise Online. The government’s spokesperson told the outlet that spare parts should be made available “at a reasonable price.” The newly proposed seven-year commitment to security updates is two years longer than the European Commission’s own stated proposals. Most smartphone brands only offer three years of security updates right now so the new European Commission’s five-year proposal is a leap forward.

Heise Online further reports the industry association DigitalEurope, which represents Huawei, Samsung, and Apple is pushing back against Germany’s proposal. The association is proposing three years of security patches and two years of OS updates to remain the required standard. It should be noted that security update commitments aren’t entirely dependant on smartphone brands, as chipset manufacturers and carriers come in the way for update pledges. One can only hope these companies are also on board. There’s a possibility that more markets could get in the seven years proposal if manufacturers are forced to push the same in Germany.