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Through careful use, your phone may last for years to come. But that’s only considering its physical age.
A phone arguably becomes obsolete when the phone’s manufacturer stops providing security updates, with vulnerabilities and exploits remaining unpatched and jeopardizing your privacy and digital welfare. That said, Germany is pushing for a new policy aimed at increasing the service life of phones for at least seven years.
According to computer magazine c’t, the federal government in Germany has requested the European Commission to amend its recently proposed legislation that requires smartphone makers to provide guaranteed software support to their products. From the originally proposed five years, Germany wants seven years instead.
To promote environmental responsibilities, the German government also wants manufacturers to provide spare parts so that there’s more incentive for consumers to keep their current phones for longer. For the same reason, it wants OEMs to shorten the repair time of damaged phones to a maximum of five working days instead of encouraging trade-ins.
The EU proposal may take effect in 2023. Currently, only a few manufacturers such as Apple provide long-term support for up to five years.