The European Commission seems to be on track, constantly working on new legislation to make repairing smartphones, tablets and other gadgets easier and more consumer-friendly. , passed a new law, forcing nearly all manufacturers to apply a common USB-C standard to their electronic devices. The new law will come into force from the second half of 2023, but we already have another great proposal that could significantly improve how devices are repaired and how long OEMs keep them.
The new proposal aims to improve battery life and the number of spare parts available to professionals and consumers. European regulators require companies to provide professional repair services with at least 15 different parts for at least five years after the sale of the device. Consumers have the opportunity to get their hands on some first party components, including replacement parts such as back covers, SIM trays, batteries, speakers, displays, and cameras.
That’s not all. The proposed law also hopes to force manufacturers to guarantee that a battery can retain 80% of his capacity after 1,000 charge cycles or be able to offer new batteries for five years. This new standard will boost the reputation of some companies. The draft also points out that software updates will not adversely affect battery performance or durability.
Also note that these rules do not apply to security devices or rollable and collapsible. The rules are primarily focused on low-end and mid-ranger devices and high-end flagships. The regulation provides some protection for foldable and retractable devices, and all electrical devices must be repairable by the consumer without tools or basic commercial tools.
All that being said, it could make it nearly impossible for OEMs to buy first-party components, meaning you can’t open your device without breaking it. Once the bill is passed and comes into effect, the commission could announce similar rules for other white goods. New labels will be applied to all products on the market to display water and dust resistance levels, drop resistance, battery endurance, and battery life.
The label helps consumers choose products that are easier to repair than others, and is important for businesses to improve reliability and improve product longevity and support.
Why is this good news for non-European countries?
After the Right to Repair Bill was finally introduced and passed in the United States, companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung all made it easier to repair their devices. Most OEMs have partnered with iFixit to bring official repair tools and genuine parts to the public at affordable prices.
The European Commission has clearly taken some inspiration from the Right to Repair Bill and was looking for ways it could be improved to bring even more benefits to both consumers and professionals. The draft offers a number of ways for consumers to properly maintain their devices for 5 years, allowing them to easily access and replace consumable parts such as batteries without the need for industrial machinery. I’m here.
Suppose a regulation passes and comes into force in the EU. In that case, it could be the best place in the world to have access to official genuine first party his components directly from the manufacturer and its partners. The new proposal further protects the environment by reducing the amount of e-waste generated each year. This saves a relatively large amount of money in the consumer’s pocket, which can be used elsewhere to support local communities. The move could also influence other countries to make repairs more consumer-friendly.
The Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) says the draft is encouraging and reasonable, but not sufficient. The body also suggested some changes to make it more consumer-friendly and better for the environment.
“Although generally promising, the proposal should still be significantly improved. The availability and interchangeability of certain spare parts sets unnecessary limitations for do-it-yourself repairers. The proposal opposes repairability over reliability: manufacturers either provide durable batteries (that can withstand over 1000 charge cycles) or provide batteries to end users as spare parts. ECOS, as currently proposed, believes that consumers deserve at least both, not one or the other.
Unfortunately, the European Commission lacks ambition in other respects as well. This obliges the manufacturer to provide spare parts and software updates for he only for 5 years. Additionally, mobile phones and tablets with flexible displays are exempt from these obligations. As a result, such devices could become the norm for manufacturers willing to ignore the design requirements imposed by the EU. ”