By José Adorno
September 7, 2021
A new environmental responsibility proposal from the German government to the European Union says Apple should require security updates and spare parts for iPhone for at least seven years. According to Heise Online, Germany’s Ministry of Economics also wants spare parts provided “at a reasonable price.”
With these demands, the German government goes beyond the previously known proposals of the EU Commission, which wants smartphone makers, like Apple and Google, to keep updating and having spare parts for five years, while tablets spare parts should be available for six years.
Industrial association DigitalEurope, which represents Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, thinks the proposals go too far. The association proposes that manufacturers provide security updates for three years and function updates for two years.
As for the spare parts, DigitalEurope wants manufacturers to only provide displays and batteries. Other parts, such as cameras, microphones, speakers, and connectors would rarely need to be replaced.
Although it will require the European Union to decide how smartphone makers will have to act in the block and the big tech companies to decide whether or not to follow, Apple has already been extending its iPhones lives for the past few years. The iPhone 6s was launched in 2015 and is still receiving software updates.
Last month, a Wall Street Journal report explored the “Right to Repair” movement as Apple doubles down on its policies. In the story, journalist Joanna Stern showed that would be cheaper for Apple users if they could take their old Macs to a pair of independent repair shops that charges less than half of what Apple does.