Sick of buying a new Android phone every few years? Help is on the way
European Commission (EC) has drafted new legislation that will require Android smartphone Manufacturers provide long-term support for their devices.
Driven by a desire to reduce e-waste and protect consumers from predatory practices, the proposal aims to establish a minimum support period that applies to all Android devices sold in the EU.
Under the new rules, vendors must provide customers with three years of major feature updates and five years of security patches, effectively doubling the lifespan of some products cheaper smartphone.
Android software support
As it stands, while some vendors offer generous support periods (the Google Pixel 6 already meets the new requirements, for example), many promise updates for only a few years, or don’t specify.
This situation presents a dilemma for device owners, who either opt for expensive upgrades while their hardware remains fully functional, or miss out on new features and important security protections.
The new EU rules, in addition to limiting environmental damage from the current upgrade cycle, will allow consumers to use their mobile devices for at least five years before having to buy them again.
Additionally, the proposal includes measures to prevent planned obsolescence, the practice of deliberately manufacturing equipment to degrade over time, prompting owners to upgrade.
For example, the draft legislation requires manufacturers to meet new battery life benchmarks or, otherwise, revert to old-fashioned mechanisms for battery replacement. Likewise, suppliers are required to provide parts and repair services for at least five years after the device is released.
It will go through a consultation period that runs until the end of the month before the legislation is written into law. The proposal will be implemented as early as Q4 2022, with implementation scheduled for one year from the launch date.
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