Smartphone makers like Apple and Google should be required to provide security updates and replacement parts for their mobile devices for at least seven years, according to the German government’s new environmental responsibility proposals for the European Union (via Heise Online).
The European Commission recently proposed that mobile device manufacturers provide software updates and spare parts for five years, with tablet spares available for six years. It also wants to force manufacturers to publish spare parts prices and ensure they don’t increase, and deliver those parts within five business days.
However, Germany wants the EU to go further, requiring seven years of upgrades and spare parts availability. In addition, he wants manufacturers to offer spare parts at “a reasonable price” and faster delivery of spare parts, a point he wants to discuss in more detail with the Commission.
The German government also supports the European Commission’s push to introduce ecodesign rules, including an energy label and an index of what’s repairable for smartphones and tablets. The production of the equipment accounts for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EC, and only part of the raw material can be recovered during recycling.
The DigitalEurope Industry Association, which represents manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei, believes the Commission’s proposals go too far and have suggested that manufacturers provide security updates for three years and OS updates for two years.
The association also believes that only the supply of replacement batteries and monitors to consumers should be required, as these parts have the highest failure rate. In contrast, components such as camera sensors, microphones and connectors “rarely fail” and therefore should not be under the mandate.
Following further negotiations between all parties involved, the European Union plans to present the proposals by 2023.
Apple has often been criticized for disproportionate repair prices, such as the $79 fee to fix the $99 HomePod mini, as well as arbitrary limits on repairs, such as preventing the iPhone 12 camera from repairing without access to the app. configuration of Apple’s cloud-linked system.
The European Parliament voted last year in favor of the EU Committee’s recommendations on the “Right to Repair”, including a mandatory labeling system on consumer electronics to provide explicit information on the repairability and service life of products.