Android smartphones may soon receive a five-year update guarantee
Future Android phones and tablets could be guaranteed a five-year system update if the new EU plans come to fruition.
The EU wants manufacturers to guarantee at least three years of operating system updates and another two years of security updates.
This is in line with what Google and Samsung are promising to their device buyers, and what Apple currently outperforms for most devices. draft proposals designed to extend the life of devices to reduce e-waste.
In the bill, lawmakers say devices are often replaced ahead of time due to a lack of updates. The project states that the environmental costs of doing so are significant.
It states: “The surge in demand for smartphones and tablets, coupled with their increased functionality, has led to an increase in demand for the energy and materials needed to manufacture these devices in the EU market, accompanied by an increase in their associated environmental impact. In addition, devices are often prematurely replaced by users and not reused or recycled enough after their useful life, resulting in a waste of resources.”
An EU impact assessment claims that extending the lifespan of a phone or tablet by just one year could reduce the climate by about 25% of the entire mobile phone market. In addition, the proposed regulation states that extending the lifespan of a phone to five years would be equivalent to removing five million cars from the roads (through Ars Technique).
The legislation also requires manufacturers to provide replacement parts for a minimum of five years after their launch. These include batteries, cameras, charging ports, and the like. Many manufacturers are already embarking on self-repair programs, but this law will effectively write it into law.
The main goal of these plans is to ensure the energy efficiency and durability of phones and tablets, ease of repair, upgrades and maintenance, as well as the possibility of reuse and recycling. The consultation period will now begin.