EU calls for 5-year spare parts obligation for smartphones

The EU Commission wants to oblige smartphone manufacturers to offer spare parts for five years.

With a new draft law, the EU Commission wants to further advance the right to repairs. This year, a vote is to be taken on whether smartphone manufacturers have to ensure a supply of spare parts for five years. If the countries decide to do so, the respective member states still have a period of one year to convert the new rules into corresponding laws.

Ecological design

The draft law also contains the specification for an ecological design of smartphones, cordless phones and tablets. This would make repairs easier and thus extend the lifespan of a device. The EU argues that using a smartphone for five years would have about the same environmental impact as five million fewer cars on the road.

Replaceable or durable battery

Manufacturers would still have several options for meeting this requirement. The battery can either be designed in such a way that it can be replaced by the user without much effort. Alternatively, the battery must be made more durable: After 500 charging cycles, it must still have at least 83 percent nominal capacity, after 1,000 cycles it must still be over 80 percent. In addition, there is the requirement that manufacturers must stock certain spare parts for at least five years after the device is no longer offered as new.

Five years of updates and replaceable parts

The smartphones and tablets should also be more durable thanks to interchangeable screens, SIM carriers, microphones, charging connections and hinges. The EU wants to continue to oblige manufacturers to provide security updates for a device for at least five years. The specification has already been passed that all smartphones or headsets may only appear with a USB-C socket as a charging connection from mid-2024.

Cell phone lobby: With cybersecurity concerns against the “right to repair”

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