Updated: September 6, 2021 2:45:13 pm
While major smartphone makers will provide operating system and security updates for between a year to five years on phones, the German federal government is trying to push the number to seven years. The new timeline would give phones more of a computer-like life-cycle, and could reduce the number of phones people buy over a larger span of time, also helping with the e-waste issue.
As per a report by Engadget, Germany is pushing the European Union to reconsider the last proposal of five years of updates and spare parts availability. The proposal, however, is facing criticism from manufacturers. DigitalEurope, an industry advocacy group that represents brands like Apple, Google and Samsung wants a requirement for just three years of updates.
Additionally, the group also wants to limit spare parts to screens and batteries, which are more likely to get damaged or affect functionality over time.
Today, Apple updates its phones for five years, while most Android brands will max out at three years. Even Samsung’s decision to provide four years of updates is recent. The longer updates would allow users to use the same phones for longer, perhaps twice the average life of 2.5 to 3.5 years that we see today.
As per the report, the move could also be vital to bolstering mobile security as a whole. While older devices lose support for newer security updates, people continue to use them, making them vulnerable to newer forms of malware or other attacks. Longer periods of updates could allow these phones to be secure for longer, giving attackers lesser potential targets.
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