EU Regulators Want Smartphone Makers To Offer Spare Parts, Better Repair Programs

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The environmental impact of gadgets like smartphones and tablets has been grabbing headlines for a while now. European Commission regulators now suggest smartphones and tabs sold there should offer spare parts for at least five years. EU hopes this would reduce the environmental impact of new gadgets.

 
EU Regulators Want Smartphone Makers To Offer Better Repairs

EU Regulators Want Spare Parts For Five Years

A new EU draft regulation talks about "ecodesign requirements for mobile phones, cordless phones, and slate tablets". It states that most phones and tablets are replaced prematurely by users, and aren't fully used or recycled. Extending the lives of phones and tablets by five years instead of two-three years would have a bigger impact.

According to the EU's findings, extending smartphone use for five years could be like taking five million cars off the road. This is why the EU wants smartphone and tab makers to offer professional repairers by bringing in at least 15 types of spare parts for their devices. The regulation suggests these be available for five years even after a phone is removed from the market.

Some of the spare parts suggested by the EU draft include displays, charging ports, mechanical buttons for volume and power, batteries, microphones, speakers, hinge assemblies for folding phones, and so on.

Smartphones And Their Environmental Impact

The battery is one of the main reasons why people switch their phones after two or three years. The EU now wants OEMs to either make replacement batteries or design batteries that would run longer. This means offering 83 percent of its rated capacity even after 500 full charging cycles and 80 percent charge even after 1,000 full charging cycles.

Apple currently claims its phones are designed to retain 80 percent capacity after 500 charging cycles. However, Apple has other issues with the EU. The Apple Lightning cable isn't universal like the USB Type-C port on all Android phones. The EU regulators want Apple to also provide USB Type-C support for its devices.

 

A few reports stated that Apple could be working on USB Type-C ports and cables for its future devices. Contradictorily, Apple is said to completely remove ports and make the iPhone and other accessories to support only wireless charging. It remains to see how and when OEMs will comply with the new regulatory suggestions.

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