New rules at the European Commission (EU) might see Android manufacturers prolong software support and allow easier smartphone repairs. The new initiative would benefit the industry by allowing users to keep their phones longer with updated software and repair options.
The European Commission recommended (via Ars Technica) smartphone manufacturers deliver five years of security updates and three years of OS upgrades. Samsung does this, but not all Android phones. If this bill passes, Android manufacturers in Europe must give this.
The survey advises smartphone makers make updates more accessible. The upgrade should arrive within two months of the phone’s debut. The EU wants Android manufacturers to deploy updates like Android 13 within two months after Google’s release. If mandatory, that would transform the Android experience because you often have to wait months for new software unless you possess a Pixel phone.
A regulation like this could force companies to roll out longer updates not just for their flagship phones, but also for budget devices that don’t usually get them.
The draught standards further state that a device’s battery capacity “must not deteriorate after an OS software or firmware update when tested with the same test standard” They also write, “Rejecting an update won’t affect performance, except for third-party apps.”
Expanded the life of Phones
The draught guidelines also indicate that smartphones and tablets sold in the EU should have spare batteries, screens, cameras, charging ports, and other parts available for at least five years.
The proposal adds that “devices are often replaced prematurely by users and not appropriately reused or recycled, wasting resources.” According to the European Commission, extending their life to five years would be like removing millions of cars from the road.
Europe has led smartphone laws recently. All cellphones in the region must have USB-C charging by 2024. If approved, the latest proposed laws might profoundly change the Android phone landscape.
The European Commission is gathering feedback on draught rules. Some recommendations could be implemented before the end of the year, and most would be adopted a year later.