Germany wants Apple to offer iPhone updates and parts for 7 years

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Smartphone producers including Apple should be required to provide security patches and spare parts for iPhones and other devices for seven years, according to a proposal from the German government to the European Union, in a bid to make the product category better for the environment.




The German federal government has entered negotiations with the European Commission to alter proposals affecting smartphone and tablet repairs and servicing. While the European Commission is working to push device vendors into offering parts and support for five years, Germany wants more to be done.

The EU intends for the five years of updates to apply to smartphones and tablets, but while parts for smartphones could be offered for five years, tablets could have parts available from manufacturers for six. Heise.de reports the Federal Ministry of Economics wants the periods to stretch to seven years.

On top of the extra lifespan, Germany wants spare parts to be offered at "a reasonable price" by manufacturers. This includes requiring vendors to publish the prices of spare parts, and not to increase the cost over time.

In terms of how long it should take for those parts to arrive at their destination, the Commission plans a maximum limit of 5 working days, though again Germany wants faster deliveries.

Germany also supports plans by the Commission to introduce an energy label and repairability index, to show how easily repaired devices can be to consumers.

While Germany wants the Commission to be tougher, vendors want the opposite. DigitalEurope, which includes Apple as a member alongside Google and Samsung, are instead pushing for three years of security updates and two years for functional updates.

DigitalEurope believes that parts such as batteries and displays should be offered, as other components like cameras and microphones will rarely fail.

The debate between the various parties over how long an iPhone and similar hardware should last will go on for quite some time, with the EU expected to introduce its proposal by 2023.

The European Parliament voted to support the concept of right to repair in November 2020, a resolution that advocated a report that called for the European Commission to look into mandatory labeling and associated device lifetime issues.

Meanwhile, in April 2021, Spainish ministers approved a national consumer protection standard, that forces companies to sell products with a three-year warranty, as well as increasing the availability of spare parts from five years to ten.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    Well at least this idea isn’t as bad as the third party App Store idea, where you would have viruses and and bad apps harming consumers. Because without the Walled Garden, how could Apple differentiate themselves from Android Devices. Android phones already look just like iPhones and Apple can’t do anything about it. 
    killroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 60
    My seven and a half year-old iPhone 5S got a security update in the late spring. I’m sure Apple’s not worried. It’s Android OEMs that should be. 
    caladaniandjames4242lorca2770killroyelijahgbaconstangwilliamlondonikirrcfaviclauyyc
  • Reply 3 of 60
    That should be easy got Apple, but create panic for cheap android phone producers. 
    lorca2770killroyelijahgwilliamlondonikirrcfaviclauyycleavingthebiggStrangeDaysxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 4 of 60
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,284member
    This won't end well for Android makers. hahaha 
    lorca2770killroywilliamlondonrinosaurrezwitsrcfaleavingthebiggerniefairchild1mark fearingwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 60
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,062member
    I want a new puppy.
    baconstangwilliamlondonrezwitsviclauyycblastdoorfahlmankurai_kage
  • Reply 6 of 60
    F**k off, Germany. How about all German car companies start offering 7 year warranties?
    killroylibertyandfreerob53rezwitsviclauyycmwhiteleavingthebigganantksundaramerniefairchild1the1maximus
  • Reply 7 of 60
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,062member
    igorsky said:
    F**k off, Germany. How about all German car companies start offering 7 year warranties?
    It would be nice if they bought back their stinking diesel cars, too.
    baconstangwilliamlondonlibertyandfreerob53rezwitsdewmeanantksundaramblastdoormark fearingradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 60
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,018member
    I immediately thought of Android when I read this article.  One main advantage to going Apple is being guaranteed that your iPhone will continue to get updates for way longer than the 6-12 months for most Android phones.

    Those companies making Android phones for the EU market are about to start sweating if this becomes the norm.
    williamlondonkillroyrcfaviclauyycleavingthebiggtwokatmewerniefairchild1mark fearingradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 60
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,821member
    to show how easily repaired devices can be to consumers.

    What is this supposed to mean?

    (Yes I know what it is supposed to mean, I think — just an example of the lack of basic proofreading and lack of editor input to online articles today) 
    fred1watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 60
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,821member
    I think Apple already covers this or is very close and could cover it with minor adjustments.  

    gregoriusmkillroyrcfaviclauyyctwokatmewradarthekatwatto_cobrakurai_kagejony0
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Anilu_777 said:
    My seven and a half year-old iPhone 5S got a security update in the late spring. I’m sure Apple’s not worried. It’s Android OEMs that should be. 
    My 5S did too. Surprised me, but still use it as an iPod. I do enjoy my old gear. 
    killroyrcfaerniefairchild1watto_cobrakurai_kagejony0
  • Reply 12 of 60
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,504member
    sflocal said:
    I immediately thought of Android when I read this article.  One main advantage to going Apple is being guaranteed that your iPhone will continue to get updates for way longer than the 6-12 months for most Android phones.

    Those companies making Android phones for the EU market are about to start sweating if this becomes the norm.
    Typical?

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/24/18019356/android-security-update-mandate-google-contract

    The more updates the better. If hardware releases slow down as a result, better still. Having more time to develop software will likely lead to better quality products with less gaping security holes in them.


    muthuk_vanalingamtwokatmewjony0
  • Reply 13 of 60
    Lots of gloating about how this isn't a problem for Apple and how Android  manufacturers will suffer. The haha syndrome. Do you only care because your beloved Apple is unlikely to be affected?

    The real issue is more government regulation and more distortion of free markets. What's the next thing they mandate?
    williamlondondewmefahlmanjony0
  • Reply 14 of 60
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 862member
    There’s a similar regulation for cars?

    if so I’m okay with it. On the software side security would be fine but come on current software would brick a 7 year old device with its performance demands. 
    killroybaconstangtwokatmewwatto_cobrakurai_kage
  • Reply 15 of 60
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    Not only updates, but also equal level and priority of services.  No planned obsolescence. No discrimination of older devices to access of services. Other nations in the world should follow Germany.
    williamlondonrcfaxyzzy-xxxAlex_V
  • Reply 16 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,567administrator
    ivanh said:
    Not only updates, but also equal level and priority of services.  No planned obsolescence. No discrimination of older devices to access of services. Other nations in the world should follow Germany.
    There are features in hardware in newer chips than the A9 that Apple uses, and aren't available in the iPhone 6. So you're suggesting that these features not happen, because they can't be implemented in the iPhone 6?

    JFC_PA hit the nail on the head.

    What you want with feature parity is never going to happen. You're confusing the march of technology with "planned obsolescence" which you apply thickly whenever something happens that you don't like.


    edited September 2021 rob53killroyviclauyycWgkruegertwokatmewStrangeDaysanantksundaramuraharaFidonet127erniefairchild1
  • Reply 17 of 60
    JFC_PA said:
    There’s a similar regulation for cars?

    if so I’m okay with it. On the software side security would be fine but come on current software would brick a 7 year old device with its performance demands. 
    In the EU spare parts for cars need to be available for 7 years. German car OEMs guarantee availability for 10 years after end of sale of the specific type - in reality they are often available for much longer.

    I am on the line if the same rules for electronic devices should apply as for cars as they are very different goods...
    Alex_Vradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 60
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    I powered up my old 2014 iPhone 6 and watched it download a recent security update so that’s already done.
    If Apple can eliminate as many seperate components as possible not only is failure less likely but surplus inventory can be simplified (& maybe financed by AppleCare)
    edited September 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 60
    This is a proposal from people whom do not understand consumer electronics or economics.   Who in the world would want to repair a 7, 6 or even 5 year old phone or tablet?  The repair cost would exceed the device value or at best be a wash.  Typical European government wanting to interfere with the free market - the nanny state always goes too far.   Do these “geniuses” ever think that maybe one could buy a used 6 year old phone or tablet for a lot less than it would take to repair the same device.  This is a brain dead proposal from the Germans.  
    killroyviclauyycbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonuraharaerniefairchild1georgie01watto_cobrafahlman
  • Reply 20 of 60
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,090member
    JFC_PA said:
    There’s a similar regulation for cars?

    if so I’m okay with it. On the software side security would be fine but come on current software would brick a 7 year old device with its performance demands. 
    In the EU spare parts for cars need to be available for 7 years. German car OEMs guarantee availability for 10 years after end of sale of the specific type - in reality they are often available for much longer.

    I am on the line if the same rules for electronic devices should apply as for cars as they are very different goods...
    Replacement parts are different than requiring iOS features be available on 10 year old iPhones. You're also talking about German OEMs not necessary German car factories provide spare parts. Is the latter a requirement? Apple made a bunch of extra parts that were most likely to be replaced on older iPhones, not necessarily from 2011 iPhones. Technology has changed enough that the 2011 iPhones might not even work on many/most cellular networks, like pre 3G. 

    How much have German cars actually changed? How many of their 2011 parts are used in 2021 cars? 
    sdw2001
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