The new EU smartphone repair law has been opposed by a trade association representing Apple, Samsung and other smartphone makers. The law aims to reduce electrical waste as part of an environmental protection program.
The law requires companies to ensure that they continue to supply at least 15 major spare parts for five years from the launch of the phone. This will also require a slight improvement to Apple’s requirements for a free battery replacement…
Proposed smartphone reform law in the European Union
The financial times Reports:
Smartphone manufacturers supplying the European Union will face strict requirements for spare parts and longer battery life, according to draft proposals published by Brussels on Wednesday.
The European Commission has stated that at least 15 different components must be available for at least five years from the date the smartphone was put on the market.
The law will additionally require energy efficiency and drop test marks.
The phones will also have to display an energy efficiency label, similar to those used in washing machines and dishwashers, which will show the battery’s endurance and other characteristics such as drop resistance.
Finally, it will require battery endurance requirements, which slightly exceed Apple’s standards for free battery replacement under AppleCare.
Batteries must last at least 500 full charges without degrading to less than 83 percent of their capacity.
AppleCare currently offers a free battery replacement when the battery capacity is below 80%.
Apple-backed commerce group opposes it
The tech trade association Digital Europe opposes the plans. Its members include Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, Oppo, Samsung, Xiaomi and other smartphone makers.
The group claims that far from reducing waste, the requirement to produce spare parts will actually create it.
Smartphone makers argue that ordering more parts for availability simply increases plastic consumption.
“Potential overproduction, subsequent warehousing and destruction of spare parts will waste resources, reduce material efficiency and negative economic value and ultimately lead to higher costs for the consumer,” said Digital Europe, which represents the technology industry.
Analysts also expressed concerns that small businesses will struggle to meet the costs of the new requirements, which could make smartphones less expensive. It can also make the production of very low-cost models uneconomical.
Apple generally makes it easy to repair old iPhones, although it has resisted consumers repairing their own. However, it recently changed its stance, introducing a self-service repair program that provides replacement parts, tool borrowing, and repair manuals. However, the company does not encourage this strongly.
For the vast majority of customers, the safest and most reliable repair is achieved through an Apple Store or one of the thousands of Apple Authorized Service Providers and Independent Repair Providers around the world. Repairing complex, highly integrated and miniature modern electronic devices is not easy – and these technicians have the experience, training, parts and tools to perform the repair correctly.
Regarding energy use labels, the European Union says a law similar to light bulbs has shown that these labels are very influential when it comes to purchasing decisions. Nearly 80% of consumers said the labels affected the bulbs they bought.
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