A political move? Or something legit?
So a proposal set by the German government said that they want smartphones to have at least seven years worth of software updates to both Android and iOS. This long-lasting requirement is similar to iOS’ six years of updates.
As we all know, software updates help keep our phone updated and have a longer shelf life, as phones age, they depreciate. Having worse battery and processing performance, photos taken through that phones are slowly losing quality and the value of the phone itself decreases. This is more prominent for Android phones which account for 72% of the world’s operating system in terms of market share. Germany is also stated that this seven-year software updates would also lessen environmental wastage and pollution. As phones get older, they get replaced eventually, adding another piece of garbage to one’s collection.
The European Union had set a proposal of five years but the fatherland has other ideas: adding two more years to the software updates in both iOS and Android. Android phones depreciate faster than iOS devices since they usually have one to two years worth of major updates. However some manufacturers have expanded the lifespan of older devices by releasing three years worth of updates and four for security updates. These manufacturers include OnePlus, Samsung, Motorola and Google with their Pixel line.
There isn’t to say that no one is countering this, as this would definitely carry a burden among smartphone manufacturers. Updates take storage and they can’t be removed without superuser or root access. Tech advocacy group DigitalEurope wanted to lower the demands from the EU’s proposed five years to three years, which meets the updating standards of some contemporary manufacturers such as Samsung, Google, Apple and OnePlus. In a related note, these companies are part of DigitalEurope.
If all goes according to plan, the European Union’s five-year software update plan would take effect in 2023. For Germany’s proposal, it merely feels like a political move as a Reddit user pointed out that there is an upcoming election in the country.