Smartphones and tablets are often thrown out too early because they no longer receive updates. According to the European Commission, something must be done about this. The EC also wants the repair of devices to be made easier.
Five years of updates
A new proposal from the European Commission calls for new environmental rules for phones and tablets. For smartphones and tablets, at least five years of updates must be rolled out, according to the EC. This specifically concerns security updates, which should make the use of the smartphone or tablet safer and that it can also last longer in this way.
The European Commission has plans not only in the area of updates. The committee also wants to make changes in the area of repair. It should be mandatory for manufacturers to be able to supply certain parts within five working days for a minimum of five years after the release of a device. This concerns, for example, a camera module, the battery or the screen. The European Commission also stipulates that maximum prices must be set for this. This should make the repair of appliances more attractive. The European Commission also believes that the conditions for free battery replacement should be relaxed.
In terms of security, the EC wants users to be able to use any encryption key to encrypt their data. This should also be easy to create again, if the device has to be sold, for example. All these steps follow actions taken by Brussels earlier. For example, the European Union already requires the use of USB-C for devices that are released from the end of 2024.
Several manufacturers are against the new plan of the European Commission. Brands such as Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi and Google say that because parts must remain available longer, there will be a larger mountain of electronic waste. The costs for this should be passed on, something which, according to the companies, leads to higher prices of smartphones.