Mehul Reuben DasSep 06, 2022 6:15:19 PM IST
It seems that the European Union or the EU is trying to allow normal users of technology to keep their devices longer and not throw them away in a year or two. Recent reports suggest that EU lawmakers are considering getting smartphone makers Android, Samsung and some Chinese brands to commit to 5 years of regular, but mostly timely updates.
The Android ecosystem, for a long time, has been notoriously difficult to navigate, not least because of the way most manufacturers handle Android updates. Some manufacturers offer two or at best three years of updates, while some big ones do not officially commit to updates at all and sell devices with outdated Android versions, without the possibility of updating them.
A draft regulation currently on the table in the EU aims to establish “ecodesign requirements for mobile phones, cordless phones and slate tablets”. The inspiration for the regulations comes from the rate at which smartphones and similar devices are being abandoned by buyers, which can often lead to e-waste.
The project proposes to establish a minimum duration for software updates. For an Android phone, that would apparently be three years of major updates and five years of security patches.
Samsung offers four years of major updates and five years of security patches, but mostly on their high-end devices. Everything else from Samsung often benefits from shorter lifespans and less frequent updates. OnePlus, on the other hand, practically only offers one major update per device.
The EU has taken on the tech industry in a bid to reduce e-waste and get smartphone brands and makers to ensure their devices have a longer and much more durable lifespan.
Just last week, a report revealed that EU lawmakers were to pass a law under which smartphone makers would be required to manufacture at least 15 key spare parts available for five years from a phone’s launch so that devices aren’t scrapped a few years after they’re purchased, just because a part of it malfunctioned. EU lawmakers are fed up with Big Tech’s shenanigans and greenwashing.
What is even more interesting the repair proposal that the EU will discuss, is how it will deal with batteries. The project offers manufacturers the choice of meeting strict standards for battery longevity or bringing back easily replaceable batteries like many older Android phones on offer.