Germany wants smartphone makers to offer 7 years of software updates

Apple is gearing up to roll out iOS 15 later this year. The company plans to roll it out to several of its devices, going all the way back to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. This will make Apple the only smartphone OEM to offer seven years of software updates to its devices. That’s a remarkable feat, considering that only a couple of OEMs on the Android side promise three years of OS upgrades and four years of security updates. To bridge this gap, the EU proposed a new law earlier this year that would force all smartphone OEMs to offer up to five years of security updates for their devices and deliver reasonably priced spare parts for the same duration.

Although the EU’s new right to repair laws are yet to go into effect, the German Federal Government has now announced plans to extend the support timeline by two years. A spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics recently said (via Heise Online) that the government body plans to enforce stricter rules that would require OEMs to deliver spare parts and software updates for seven years. In addition, the Federal Government wants OEMs to publish the spare part prices and not increase them over time.

As far as the delivery times for spare parts is concerned, the German Federal Government wants to implement strict rules to ensure that OEMs deliver parts as quickly as possible. It argues that a lengthy repair time could force customers to opt for an exchange rather than a repair, defeating the purpose of the new regulations. As part of its right to repair laws, the EU plans a maximum delivery time of five working days. The German Federal Government is yet to finalize a delivery timeline.

What’s your take on the proposed legislation? Do you think forcing OEMs to deliver seven years of software updates and spare parts will prove beneficial for the smartphone industry as a whole? Would you want your government to enforce similar laws? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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