The smartphone support cycle varies widely from one manufacturer to the other. Some manufacturers give you 5-years of software support and some repair support while others may give you 1-year. Apple has traditionally been the one to support its phones the longest, in terms of software updates. Now, Germany is pushing for Apple and others to give users 7-years of support and access to spare parts for repair.
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The government of Germany is in talks with the European Commission to adopt this 7-year minimum devices support for both Android and iOS devices. The idea is for manufacturers to support their devices from launch until 7-years after. So that means if you buy a new phone in 2021 that was made in 2020, you will get 6-years of support. So it’s not 7-years of support from the date of purchase.
These types of demands from Germany and other countries in the European Union are not uncommon. The EU has a history of bringing the big tech companies to the table and asking more of them. The European Commission is still trying to get Apple to drop its Lightning cable in favor of a standardized USB-C connector.
Any extension to support would ultimately be required across all European Union countries, thus presenting manufacturers with a new challenge of not only supporting devices for longer in Europe but producing and storing a pool of spare parts to meet demand. It’s unclear what the consequences of that would be, but it could include higher prices for phones and tablets and fewer models being released in order to reduce the required production of spare parts.PCMag
It’s not a surprise that the industry isn’t simply sitting at the table and giving in. They are attempting to push back and scale back the German government’s demands to something more suitable to their wants.
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Last Updated on September 7, 2021.