The German federal government wants to defend strict environmental regulations for smartphones and tablet in negotiations with the European Union Commission. The government is lobbying the European Union to order seven years of security updates and smartphone replacement parts as part of the negotiations.
A spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Economy said that spare parts and safety upgrades should be available for seven years.
Furthermore, spare parts should be provided at a reasonable price. With these demands, the federal government bypasses the proposals recently announced by the European Union Commission.
The commission plans to make upgrades and spare parts mandatory for five years, while spare parts for tablet will be available for six years.
Furthermore, it wants to force manufacturers to publish the prices of spare parts and not to increase them later. But don’t plan on setting prices.
And when it comes to how quickly parts can be delivered, the federal government wants to ask for stricter rules.
The committee is currently planning a maximum delivery time of five working days. A spokesman for the economy ministry said this point should be taken in consideration. Long repair times can cause customers to choose replacement rather than repair.
The federal government supports in in principle the Commission’s initiative to introduce ecodesign rules, an energy label and a recoverability index for smartphones and tablet.
The spokesperson said it was right to increase the reliability and repairability of the devices. This is because the production of household appliances is responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions and only part of the materials prime it can be recovered through recycling.
Germany wants phone security updates for 7 years
The proposals meet with opposition from producers. The DigitalEurope group (which counts Apple, Google and Samsung among its members) wants a requirement of three years of security updates and two years of feature updates.
You also want to limit spare parts to monitors and batteries rather than supposedly more reliable cameras, speakers, and other components.
In other words, DigitalEurope represents the status quo. And while Apple delivers in typically five years of regular features and security updates, many Android vendors stop at three or less.
Samsung is committed in four years of security reforms in 2021. Part of that was dictated by Qualcomm’s modernization policy. But it is clear that sometimes brands themselves are reluctant to change.
DigitalEurope considers the minimum requirements for battery life to be very ambitious. This is because very few suppliers can offer models that still have at least 80% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles.
So the group suggests a transition phase that takes 800 cycles. Reject the energy label stating that manufacturers are trying to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency.
“We are constantly working to enable longer life for smartphones,” said Samsung. The average initial use time was around 21 months in 2015 and we were in able to increase it to one media 29 months in 2020.
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