A new draft proposal published by the European Union may force smartphone manufacturers to provide better care for their devices if the plan goes through.
Under the proposal, the EU will make it compulsory for smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Google and Samsung to provide spare, replacement parts for battery, displays, chargers, back covers, SIM and memory card trays for a period of five years.
The EU wants to reduce the carbon footprint of smartphones across Europe. The bloc says that forcing manufacturers to extend the life of their products by five years will help reduce e-waste and bolster the recycling rates of material required to make new smartphones.
The EU is also proposing a new energy label for smartphones and tablets that will indicate the battery life and provide information on the phone's water and dust resistance. A rating that will tell users how resistant a phone is to accidental drops is also on the cards.
If manufacturers cannot provide a replacement battery for their devices, they will have to undergo a rigorous test instead and ensure that their batteries can achieve 80 percent of the rated capacity after 1,000 charge cycles.
The EU will also mandate software and app support for devices for a period of five years, more specifically functionality updates and improvements for three years and security updates for five years.
The only exceptions to the new proposal are phones that have bendable/flexible displays like the Samsung Galaxy Z line-up and rugged smartphones designed for hazardous environments.The EU has also been hard on companies to support one universal USB Type-C charging standard, but companies such as Apple have fought back and said the rule limits innovation. Either way, once the new law passes, Apple will have 24 months to comply.