Tech & OnlineThe EU could force cell phone manufacturers to offer...

The EU could force cell phone manufacturers to offer software and hardware support for up to 5 years

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A new European Union bill could force all smartphone and tablet manufacturers to offer multi-year software updates for their products. Electronic device manufacturers should also offer their customers a clearly defined period of technical support for their devices, allowing for repairs over a similar period. EU law could force companies that have not offered long-term software or technical support to do so from now on.

The European Commission is proposing that all phones and tablets receive software updates for at least three years and security updates for five years with a manufacturer’s warranty. This way, more devices would take advantage of the new software features, while many of the phones and tablets in use would benefit from improved security. Currently, only Samsung offers five-year security updates for Android smartphones.

The EU could force cell phone manufacturers to offer software and hardware support for up to 5 years
The EU could force cell phone manufacturers to offer software and hardware support for up to 5 years

Apparently, security is an important issue for the CE, because it even suggests a maximum period for security updates for mobile devices. These should be no later than two months after the public release of the original software from Google. This could force companies that only release quarterly security updates for older models (like Samsung) to release software packages earlier.

So this regulation would improve updates especially for smartphones from the cheaper range, since in the flagship range most manufacturers offer 2-3 years or even more of software support.

And the new EU regulation goes even further by trying to prevent situations like in the past with Apple and Samsung, which affected the performance of the devices:

“The battery capacity of a device shall not deteriorate after a software or firmware update when measured with the same tools and standards used for the declaration of conformity.” Also, “a device’s performance must not change if the update is denied, unless it involves third-party applications,” the new bill states.

As for hardware support, the new legislation would require companies to provide components such as batteries, displays, cameras or charging ports, and other components for at least five years after the devices’ launch.

Currently, the law is in public debate and will be updated according to the responses the European Commission receives. Certain proposals in the law could be implemented before the end of this year, while most will take effect one year after passage.

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