Germany wants iPhone, iPad updates and reasonably-priced parts to be available for 7 years

Ifixit Iphone 12 Pro Max Teardown
Ifixit Iphone 12 Pro Max Teardown (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • Germany wants the EU to require iPhones and iPads have parts made available for seven years after they went on sale.
  • Seven years of security updates are also part of the plan.
  • The EU already has plans in motion, but with shorter timescales.

Germany wants Apple and other phone and tablet manufacturers to make parts and security updates available for a full seven years, according to a new report. This comes on the back of a similar initiative set out by the EU that would see phones have parts available for five years and tablets for six.

According to a Heise Online report, Germany's plan is to ensure devices work for as long as possible to help cut down on electronic waste. The move would also mean that companies would need to offer spare parts at a "reasonable price" although German officials do not seem to want to set those prices themselves.

Translated via machine learning:

The Federal Government wants to work for strict environmental rules for smartphones and tablets in negotiations with the EU Commission. Spare parts and security updates should be available for seven years, explained a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics at the request of c't. In addition, the spare parts should be provided "at a reasonable price".

The EU plans to have its own requirements in place by 2023, with Germany hoping to convince it to go further than the recently announced proposals. If Germany can do that, this year's iPhone 13 would likely have parts available into 2028 while receiving security updates throughout.

While Apple does tend to be one of the better companies in terms of offering security updates for older devices, the price of parts is another matter. This move would ensure that third-party repair shops can fix devices when they need to, at a price that users can afford.

We've reached out to Apple for comment on Germany's stance and will update this post if and when we receive one.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.