The country is working through an environmental responsibility proposal to the European Union.
The German government has submitted a new environmental responsibility proposal to the European Union in the hopes of requiring Apple to keep up iPhone updates and repairs for a minimum of seven years.
This would mean that the company would need to keep providing security changes and spare parts.
Furthermore, beyond the continued iPhone updates for security, Apple would be required to offer those spare parts “at a reasonable price,” if the Ministry of Economics in Germany gets its way. This move by the German government would take things a step higher than proposals that have been made to the EU Commission in the past.
The EU Commission has already been working to require smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung, Google, and others to have to continue updating their devices for five years while selling spare parts throughout that time. For tablets, those same offerings would need to be available for six years.
Many device makers including Apple believe smartphone and iPhone updates should continue for only two years.
DigitalEurope, an industry association representing Apple, Samsung and Huawei has stated that Germany’s and other similar EU Commission proposals are pushing things too far. Instead, the association has put forward that manufacturers should be updating security for at least three years and should offer function updates for two years. DigitalEurope’s proposal also stated that manufacturers should have to provide only displays and batteries in terms of spare parts. Anything else, such as speakers, microphones, cameras, and connectors rarely ever need to be replaced, so device makers should not need to keep them available for such a long time, it said.
Though the European Union will be determining the regulations for smartphone makers selling their products among its members, Apple has already been making changes in that direction in recent years. It has been choosing to provide iPhone updates for software (though not parts) for a longer period of time to help to extend the lives of those smartphones. For instance, the 2015 model the iPhone 6s is still receiving updated software.