Apple could have to update iPhones for seven years under German law

Apple could be forced to support iPhone hardware and software updates for seven years under a new proposal from the German government.

The country says that Apple has an environmental responsibility to update iPhones for up to seven years, and offer spare parts so that older models can be fixed. Germany’s Ministry of Economics also says that those spare parts should be offered at a “reasonable price” to ensure that consumers are encouraged to fix rather than replace them.

The new proposals go beyond what the European Union Commission had previously requested, that Apple and Google offered updates to iPhones and made spare parts for up to five years. They also asked for the same requirements for tablets for six years.

However, according to DigitalEurope, an industrial association that represents brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, says that the proposals from Germany go too far. They suggest that manufacturers offer security updates for three years and function for two.

DigitalEurope also says that companies should only provide displays and battery parts, as components like cameras and microphones rarely need to be replaced, and the costs associated with doing so can be great.

Although Germany’s proposal needs approval before it can become law, Apple’s already close to offering what it wants. Indeed, the iPhone 6s is now six years old, and Apple still supports it with iOS updates.

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