Seven years of security updates for your smartphone could be a reality, at least in Europe.
Governments are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the Android ecosystem when it comes to updates and support, suggesting that perhaps now is the time for them to consider stronger measures.
Germany has been one of the first nations to propose such changes. The Federal Government is engaged in talks with the European Union Commission to secure manufacturers’ commitments to providing security updates for at least seven years after their market launch date.
Germany asks more comprehensive support for smartphones sold in Europe
Apple is still the gold standard in terms of security updates today, providing smartphones with at least five years’ worth of patches and upgrades. Samsung and Google dominate the Android scene in the same terms, although the time period is limited to three years or four if we’re talking about devices approved for business and professional use.
As a result, Germany has proposed extending the manufacturers’ support period to seven years. That isn’t all, though: During negotiations with the European Commission, the German federal government is proposing that producers provide spare parts to consumers for a minimum of five years for phones and six years for tablets.
Of course, the manufacturers appear to be divided on the subject. The industry advocacy organization Digital Europe, which comprises of numerous businesses including Google, Samsung, and Apple among others, suggests that the mandated upgrade period should be three years, with just batteries and displays being accessible to consumers.
That being said, the final decision may take some time to be made public, and if it happens, the measures will come into force in 2023.