r/technology Sep 05 '22

EU wants to enforce 5 years of security and 3 years of OS updates for all phones Security

https://www.androidauthority.com/eu-smartphone-updates-rules-3205112/
2.3k Upvotes

290

u/brickson98 Sep 05 '22

I think this is good, as long as companies currently providing longer support don’t decide to downgrade to these numbers.

93

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

I doubt they’ll downgrade seeing as longer support is seen as a positive thing to consumers.

43

u/brickson98 Sep 05 '22

True, but ya never know. At the end of the day, they only care if they make money and make their investors happy. They don’t actually care about how happy the customer is, as long as they’re still paying up.

6

u/Qwrty8urrtyu Sep 06 '22

True, but ya never know. At the end of the day, they only care if they make money and make their investors happy. They don’t actually care about how happy the customer is, as long as they’re still paying up.

They clearly believe offering longer support than the legal minimum gives them a competitive advantage, since they are doing it now. Why would the legal requirement changing effect that?

4

u/Ulu-Mulu-no-die Sep 06 '22

They clearly believe offering longer support than the legal minimum gives them a competitive advantage

That's the only reason why I changed from Android to iPhone, I keep my phone for at least 4-5 years and I was tired of not getting security updates for years on Android.

What EU is trying to do is good IMO, even if it's too late for me.

1

u/brickson98 Sep 06 '22

It most likely wouldn’t. But there’s always a chance it could. Sometimes tech companies like to participate in malicious compliance because they don’t like extra regulations.

25

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Well if this was the case then Apple wouldn't support their phones with software updates for 7+ years in most situations. If nobody cares, why wouldn't Apple do the bare minimum and make you buy a new phone after 2 years of updates?

9

u/jchexl Sep 05 '22

Pretty sure apple had to pay a couple hundred mill to settle a class action lawsuit cause they’d slow down the processing power of older phones.

37

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

While the execution of what Apple did, in regards to "BatteryGate", was poor the reasoning was sound. All lithium ion batteries have a limited shelf life, or cycle rate, which starts to affect performance. For years Android phones would just shut down while you still had 10-50% of indicated battery life. Apple decided to slow their phones down in order to make them last longer on a depleted battery.

They should have told their users this was happening instead of doing it in the background.

9

u/mactenaka Sep 06 '22

Or have easily replaceable batteries.

7

u/flying_piggies Sep 06 '22

This is the correct answer.

Let’s expand this to include accessibility to replacement batteries.

On the one hand they pretend to be this green sustainable company that cares about recycling. But at the same time they encourage you to get rid of your perfectly good phone because they have made a consumable part impossible to change.

1

u/DiscoveryOV Sep 06 '22

Apple will replace the battery of a cheaper/older iPhone for $50 and $70 for the newer models.

They also offer a self service replacement program where you can buy the battery or affected part and rent their tools to do the replacement (though reviews are mixed, as it’s pretty complicated for most repairs).

1

u/Proper-Horse-7313 Sep 06 '22

More readily replaceable batteries are a security risk.

7

u/FrightenedPanda Sep 06 '22

Which is what they do now obviously. You can override it and see your phone shut off early and unpredictably. Like you said poor execution they should have done what they do now from the beginning, probably would have been significantly smaller backlash then the “getting caught in the act” portrayal they got.

1

u/Positive-Chocolate83 Sep 06 '22

Historically Apple users expect things to be easy and cutting edge and were willing to pay extra for it. We may not be as tech savvy as android users who pay less and don't expect as much or need to be cool. So it's a little easier to pull one over on us. And maybe Apple thought we'd rather have a seamless experience without knowing the details. But when it came out, what could we do but be mad or switch?

6

u/yuxulu Sep 06 '22

I feel the last sentence is the point of the suit though. If they told their users, it is a useful feature. If they didn't, it is definitely within the realm of forced retirement. Especially a lot of users would gladly use a third party to replace battery when apple warranty is long gone.

1

u/Chrontius Sep 06 '22

They put it in the patch notes when they added it.

1

u/yuxulu Sep 07 '22

To be very honest, that is not good enough. For example, when a software company decide to discontinue support for a software, they announce years in advance in a public announcement.

I see this as a similar situation.

→ More replies

-1

u/RejZoR Sep 06 '22

Oh my god, this fucking bullshit again. AppLe iS SLoWiNG dOwN pHOnEs oN pUrpOsE!

The shear fucking amount of bullshit people keep repeating is just fucking astounding.

1

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

why wouldn't Apple do the bare minimum and make you buy a new phone after 2 years of updates?

I work at an Apple MSP (part of ACN) - That's actually their exact business model, just not explicitly because that'd be illegal. They want you to buy a new device ASAP - Their products are designed in such a way that lead to repairs being much more expensive/difficult than they need to be, which leads the consumer to Just Buy A New One.

For example: newer gen MacBook keyboards are bolted into the laptop top case so you can't remove them without replacing the entire top case, which is a $600 part (depending on model.) If you have a broken key it's a $600 replacement, versus a $2 replacement like it'd be on a different If a key snaps off your 3.5 year old MacBook, your options are to pay $600 or buy a new one(tm) for $1200. Everything that would be removable on an equivalent laptop or desktop is soldered directly to the board on Apple devices.

→ More replies

-9

u/nicuramar Sep 05 '22

How do you know what they care about or not? Companies are run by humans. Also, companies interests to some degree naturally align with their customers.

6

u/brickson98 Sep 05 '22

How do I know what they care about? By their actions. They only care about customers to the degree of whether they’re forking over money or not. That goes for any billion dollar corporation.

-4

u/nicuramar Sep 05 '22

No, by their actions you only know what they end up doing. Not for what reasons, or what they care about.

They only care about customers to the degree of whether they’re forking over money or not.

Firstly, how is that distinguishable from caring about their customers? Secondly, how doesn’t that apply to everyone? It’s a business, they sell you products.

My point is, you are attributing intentions to them even though you don’t know them.

2

u/yuxulu Sep 06 '22

A lot of actions benefit the company but fucks the customer over. For example, making their phones impossible to repair. The fact that customers end up pushing for a repairability bill shows that customers do care. But apple refused to budge.

Not every custmer is aware of what hurts them though. For example, without government regulations, a lot of ur food products will contain poisonous ingredients because u don't know better.

→ More replies

1

u/brickson98 Sep 06 '22

Dude it’s a business. The goal is to make money. Not sure why you’re riding them so hard. If you really think these corporations really give a crap about you and what you think, you’re gullible.

They only listen to customers to the degree that generates more revenue. Beyond that, they don’t care.

They aren’t a friend, they’re a business. They have no interest in you, only your money, and how to make money off of you.

But whatever bud, think what you want.

P.S. The other reply to you brings up a good point regarding right to repair. And Apple’s repair program includes extremely overpriced tools. Because, again, they don’t care about you, and what you want. You would rather repair your expensive phone. They’d rather you buy another one.

→ More replies

1

u/1zeewarburton Sep 06 '22

Profit seen as a positive to shareholders

2

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

Then they would just not offer updates now when they're not required..

1

u/1zeewarburton Sep 20 '22

As the guy above said if the companies did it for 10year product spans and now they drop it to 5. It would be justified to release another model without as much of a backlash. People would be forced to buy new phones.

4

u/fourleggedostrich Sep 06 '22

Why the hell would they they?

2

u/brickson98 Sep 06 '22

Malicious compliance with added regulations. Tech companies hate extra regulations. Numerous reasons…

I don’t think it’s likely that they will, but the possibility for nonsense is always there with big corporations.

-7

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22 edited Sep 05 '22

[deleted]

9

u/FriendlyDespot Sep 05 '22

"Minimums become maximums." (Under regulation and mandates)

Yeah, that's why nobody has any warranties or guarantees where the minimum required is none, right? Some people make up the weirdest phrases to try to lend legitimacy to claims that just don't make any sense.

-2

u/AnynameIwant1 Sep 06 '22

1

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

[deleted]

1

u/Qwrty8urrtyu Sep 06 '22

For too many industries, no collusion, conspiracy nor price fixing is required, they just race to the bottom of what's required, especially in low competition and high barrier-to-entry markets. Who really competes with Apple and Samsung (& Xiaomi)? Everyone else is "also-ran" way down the market share pie.

Phones isn't an high barrier to entry industry and the companies all make more or less interchangeable products. If Samsung made bad phones the others would sell more and vice versa.

Phones is a pretty competitive industry and clearly doesn't have that high of a barrier to entry since comparatively tiny companies like Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo entered and became big players in it.

Comparing the phone industry to internet monopolies is nonsensical.

91

u/SpamSomnia Sep 05 '22

Honestly, I think the minimum should be 4 years of OS Updates. These newer phones are releasing with 6-8GB of RAM and chipsets that are powerful enough even on budget phones. I can't see OS 4 years from now would be so demanding that it can't run on them.

I know having to optimize OS for 4 generations of phones would be taxing for companies, but surely they've got the manpower and customer-base to do this.

41

u/andthatsalright Sep 05 '22

Or at least (better yet, IMO) unlock the firmware after updates cease. I’d love to throw a hyper lightweight android fork on an old iPad or phone and keep it useful.

Chrome OS flex is kind of the same idea for PCs/macs and it works great

15

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 05 '22

Missing out on OS upgrades is no big deal though - you still get to safely use the phone you bought, with the features you bought it with. Backporting new features is both expensive and philosophically, mandating it doesn't make much sense.

Once a phone goes out of security updates though, the phone becomes unsafe to use very quickly. (Although I'm surprised how little we're seeing exploits in practice with how many vulnerable phones are out there.) And philosophically, it's just the vendor finally fixing what they fucked up in the first place.

9

u/Grendel_82 Sep 05 '22

The problem is that how does an Android manufacturer ensure four years of OS updates when Google controls what those updates look like and what the OS does? Yeah the biggest phone makers like Samsung can do the programing to update the OS and they do not push out basic Android OS. But the smaller phone makers are highly dependent on what Google does to the OS. I also can't see how a phone released now couldn't run the Android OS 4 years from now, but I don't know. The phones might be slow with that new OS on them. And some Android phones are released today with older chips as budget phones.

In any case, as long as security updates are regularly released, that is really more important that OS updates.

8

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Or these companies could, I dunno, give a shit and fork droid and start iterating their own releases

7

u/Grendel_82 Sep 05 '22

Most of these companies don't remotely have the programming chops to iterate Android is some useful way that would do anything but piss off their customers with bugs and weird features.

4

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

Well then it’ll continue to only get worse for them. The new bar is now having your own silicon. Having your own OS isn’t a high bar. Open source projects effectively do a better job than publicly traded companies. That’s a low bar. Good luck to them.

1

u/AnEmuCat Sep 06 '22

They already do this and it's the reason why updates are slow and phones from different manufacturers have different quirks.

Cheap ChromeOS devices are basically budget phones with big screens and keyboards, but they technically receive regular OS updates. Due to problems with a lack of hardware driver standards, they run into problems where certain devices can't update to the latest Linux so they can't get certain kernel features that are required for certain new ChromeOS features, but they mostly get updated, and they get updated on schedule, right up until their too soon end-of-life date (at least if you bought a nice one, because they all get the same number of years of support). This is because, unlike Android phones, ChromeOS is ChromeOS.

1

u/idkwthtotypehere Sep 06 '22

With market cap of 1.3t they should be able to do just about anything.

48

u/mango-vitc Sep 05 '22

This is really going to affect all those crappy android phones.

-3

u/InnocentPerv93 Sep 06 '22

Which isn't a good thing tbh. It'll mean less affordable phones.

9

u/TheRetenor Sep 06 '22

The lowest segment might drop away, yes, but this also means second hand phones are way more of an option than right now. Which in my book is better because its more environmentally friendly.

6

u/Dat1BlackDude Sep 06 '22

I don’t know why you got downvoted. This is true. Cheap phone prices will go up because companies need to keep supporting them.

-2

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

[deleted]

3

u/waaarg Sep 06 '22

iPhones already exceed these minimums as it is.

124

u/DBDude Sep 05 '22

Android is going to be scrambling, Apple sitting back having to do nothing.

59

u/Andrew1343 Sep 05 '22

The 2013 iPhone 5S got a security patch pretty recently, even though the phone is 9 years old

22

u/_Connor Sep 06 '22

My 2017 iPhone X still gets regular OS updates.

iPhone 7 (2016) got full OS updates for 7 years and Apple finally just announced it wouldn't be getting iOS 16.

15

u/Andrew1343 Sep 06 '22

Even then, it’ll probably receive security updates for a couple more years

On the iPad side, the support is even crazier. The iPad Air 2 from 2014 is only losing support now in iPadOS 16.

12

u/uni-monkey Sep 05 '22

That’s one of the reasons I switched from Android. Bought a brand new HTC android phone. A month later OS update comes out but not for my phone/carrier. It was never released for that phone/carrier. I know it’s gotten much better since then but at the time I felt so ripped off.

1

u/Positive-Chocolate83 Sep 06 '22

Manufacturers have to pay Google for the updates. Then they might add their own stuff. All this is expensive. Google phones cost more but are guaranteed the earliest updates and the longest number of updates. If you don't lose or damage your phone, it's cheaper to get the more expensive google phone especially if you buy it use from say, Swappa.

21

u/Mightygamer96 Sep 05 '22

not really, major smartphone makers already support 3 years of OS updates. Samsung does 4 years.

its the unknown chinese companies who need to worry about this.

4

u/AnEmuCat Sep 06 '22

Does Samsung only do this with their phones? I have an expensive Samsung tablet and received less than three years of OS updates from its release date, not its end of sale date or even the date it was superseded, and they only release the "monthly" security update once or twice a year.

12

u/Onam3000 Sep 05 '22

Samsung already doing 4 years is only true for their flagships. Most lower end models get 3 years at best and even that isn't guaranteed. Many manufacturers claim they will do 3+ years but silently stop after like 2 and only do security updates after, mostly because nobody cares enough to hold them accountable.

18

u/DBDude Sep 05 '22

The big problem with even major makers is actually Qualcomm, which makes the chips for a lot of them. An Android version must first be certified to work on the SoC. Qualcomm isn't very interested in this because it doesn't make them money. So anyone using Qualcomm chips is going to have a hard time getting long-term updates. This is a big reason why Google came out with their own chip.

Then manufacturers spend more money integrating the new Android into their customized system. And again, that's money spent and they don't want to do that. So you end up with very few supporting their phones for long. Yep, mainly Samsung and Google, and they only jumped on this bandwagon recently.

On the other hand, I don't know if I trust the promises. I had an Android where the manufacturer announced it would be getting the next OS version, and I bought it based on that promise, having been screwed before. Not long later, they announced they weren't going to upgrade. Apparently there were "technical issues."

So when it comes to the Androids, I'll believe it when I see it.

7

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 05 '22

So anyone using Qualcomm chips is going to have a hard time getting long-term updates.

That's why the EU mandating it is a good thing, because suddenly Qualcomm has the options of "supporting that shit for 5 years" and "can't sell those chips for phones that go to the EU".

Not long later, they announced they weren't going to upgrade. Apparently there were "technical issues."

I would have considered trying to return the phone and dragging them to small claims if they didn't take it back.

1

u/russiankek Sep 06 '22

That's why the EU mandating it is a bad thing, because suddenly Qualcomm have to hire more engineers, and compensate additional expenses by increasing prices. If Qualcomm increases prices, everyone else will as well. Suddenly you have ALL phones becoming more expensive, leading to higher inflation and lower living standards across the world.

2

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 06 '22

Suddenly you have ALL phones becoming more expensive

Cheaper than having to replace it every 2-3 years...

2

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

0

u/Relax_Redditors Sep 06 '22

Thank you for actually starting an honest conversation about Apple on reddit.

1

u/ShortFuse Sep 06 '22

Qualcomm will happily take that binary fee money.

5

u/notgarbagehuman Sep 06 '22

Round it up to 4 OS updates please. All modern phones are capable to do that.

4

u/gomarcho Sep 06 '22

Has anyone else noticed the advancement of smart phones? Updatea and releases in the years of 06-12 seemed more dramatic then the advanced from 15-22. Right? Is it just me?

5

u/DanielPhermous Sep 06 '22

That's normal. As a category matures, there's less to add to it and certainly less dramatically new things.

Computers were the same.

14

u/Culverin Sep 05 '22

I don't really care about OS updates that much, as long as phone companies are held liable for their hardware lemons and software bugs classifying the item as "defective".

Phones are mission critical devices in our lives now.

I feel the security updates should be a no-brainer.

3

u/Staar-69 Sep 06 '22

It should be 5 years for security and OS updates.

4

u/Crux_Biscuit Sep 06 '22

The short life cycle is the major reason I left android.

2

u/candyman420 Sep 06 '22

this time i agree with them, 5 years is completely reasonable

2

u/robbak Sep 06 '22

That had better be 3 and 5 years from the last retail sale of the phone, not 3 years from the release of the device. Phones, especially on the lower end, regularly are on the market for more than 3 years.

2

u/brokennthorn Sep 06 '22

Even greater if OS updates specifies mandatory major version upgrades. So if during those 3 years, a new major Android version is released, you will 100% get upgraded to it. And if Google backports security fixes to older Android versions, which you're a user of, the manufacturer should also publish that security update, regardless of how old your phone is.

11

u/VanHansel Sep 05 '22

Likely unintended consequence: fewer budget models in the EU.

14

u/nod23c Sep 05 '22

Yeah, that's not unintended. Budget models are often too cheap to repair, don't last as long due to cheap materials, and has less value to the owner as well. Buying a new phone should result in the owner wanting to keep it for longer and possibly repairing it.

11

u/GeezusLizard Sep 05 '22

One of the things Apple does right is to support all devices with OS updates for about 5/6 years after release so I doubt this will effect android prices they'll just have to optimize their OS better if anything this is a win for consumers

4

u/TheMembership332 Sep 05 '22

Cheap Chinesephones aren’t anywhere near as expensive as iPhones, how do you think they’re going to get the additional capital to pay their developers?

1

u/V01D16 Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

Chinese Gpd per capita has increased tenfold in the last 20 years. China is awful in many ways but economically they are a force to be reckoned with and I doubt they will be really affected by these measures.

4

u/Highlow9 Sep 06 '22

IOS has the advantage that they control the ecosystem. They thus get a lot of revenu from the App store/subscriptions/etc and that is an incentive for them to keep people with their iPhone longer (with software updates).

If Google would give, let's say, 5% of their Google Play revenue to the manufacturer then I would think a lot of phones might have longer software (at least security) support. They could even add a rule that they only get this 5% if the phone uses a security update of at most 6 months old.

4

u/VanHansel Sep 05 '22

Optimizing OS for longer device support costs $. Productions $ must be recouped somehow.

1

u/russiankek Sep 06 '22

Unintended? Likely lobbied by Apple/Samsung

5

u/GottJebediah Sep 05 '22

Dang they like iPhones strategy! We’ll see if android can keep up.

2

u/corgi-king Sep 05 '22

So it almost has no effect for iOS. Apple Is do that for their iDevice.

10

u/spaceEngineeringDude Sep 05 '22

Brilliant now phones will all stop receiving feature updates at 3 years and stop receiving any updates at 5….

61

u/alc4pwned Sep 05 '22

As opposed to the 1-3 years you usually get with Android phones currently.

-40

u/maxximii Sep 05 '22

You mean the 4-6 years? I've never heard of a phone from a major manufacturer who does less than 4. Almost all do 6 years.

12

u/phthalobluedude Sep 06 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

My experience with android phone lifecycles before switching to iOS:

  • Huawei U8651: no updates
  • Moto G: One OS update (broke/removed a bunch of shit, never fixed), no security updates
  • ASUS ZenPhone 2: One major OS update massive de-optimization of system software that made the phone practically unusable for anything other than making calls and loading a small Wikipedia page
  • Huawei nova Plus: One minor OS update, nothing special, no security updates

My experience with Android tablets: - Samsung Galaxy Tab 4: One minor update - Samsung Galaxy Tab …something newer…: Not a single update

Meanwhile:

  • 1st gen iPhone SE: STILL GETTING SECURITY UPDATES
  • Old iPhones that got cut off at iOS 12: STILL GETTING SECURITY UPDATES

Summary: FUCK ANDROID

32

u/alc4pwned Sep 05 '22

No, they don’t. I have no idea why you think they do.

7

u/tajsta Sep 05 '22

Yeah, only Samsung offers 4-5 years of OS updates. And I've never seen anyone offer 6. Xiaomi, Realme, Google, and some other Chinese brands offer 3, other than that it's mostly 1 or 2.

7

u/phthalobluedude Sep 06 '22

Me over here with my Samsung Tablet that never got a single update, ever…

-3

u/everythingissostupid Sep 05 '22 edited Sep 06 '22

Pixel 6 and later gets 5

Edit: Source

6

u/cnnrduncan Sep 06 '22

Nope, they get 5 years of security updates but only 3 years of OS version updates.

-1

u/everythingissostupid Sep 06 '22

Pixel 6 and later Pixel phones will get Pixel updates for at least 5 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US. Pixel updates include Pixel security updates, and may also include feature drops and other software updates.

Source

5

u/cnnrduncan Sep 06 '22

That link explicitly says that the Pixel 6 is only guaranteed to get security updates for 5 years, but that the updates may include new features.

-1

u/everythingissostupid Sep 06 '22

Yes, and as a pixel owner since the first one, I have received feature updates on all of my pixels past the 3 year mark.

32

u/tyw7 Sep 05 '22

It says those time-frames are minimum. Nothing stopping manufacturers from providing longer support.

14

u/vanhalenbr Sep 05 '22

Normally when it’s made into law companies do the bare minimum.

5

u/MrBubles01 Sep 05 '22

I mean I don't get this logic when it comes to this issue. I mean if anyone supports their product for longer than that, there is a reason. Nobody is forcing them now, so for those companies nothing really changes really.

I mean there will be a new low bar set that they are already over so I don't follow the logic. Unless they want to use this new law as an excuse, which I doubt any reputable company will do...

3

u/FriendlyDespot Sep 05 '22

That makes absolutely no sense. If companies do the bare minimum, and the bare minimum today is none, then companies would do nothing today. But that's not the case.

28

u/tyw7 Sep 05 '22

But it also forces bad manufacturers from abandoning their products.

19

u/andio76 Sep 05 '22

Well.....There goes most of the Android phones.....

1

u/pcs3rd Sep 05 '22

Except for pixels and Samsung phones.

20

u/dh366 Sep 05 '22

Samsung is actually horrible at supporting their older phones, which is the main reason I switched to iOS. My S8 wasn’t eligible to update to android 10, which came out only two years after the S8. So they dropped OS support after only 2 years, and then for security, they dropped support only 4 years into the phone’s life cycle. Absolutely abysmal. Apple does a lot of shitty things to consumers in the name of profits, but at least my phone will continue receiving security updates well into the future.

6

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

[deleted]

-4

u/maxximii Sep 05 '22

In other words, a phone that can't really do anything.

2

u/Proper-Horse-7313 Sep 06 '22

It’s almost as though reading for context is wholly alien to you.

8

u/pcs3rd Sep 05 '22

My feb 2018 moto Z3 only ever updated to Android 9 with no current security updates.
I just got a used pixel 4a 5g and it immediately updated to 13.
I'm more specifically referring to the "release and forget" style of many android manufacturers.

-2

u/TheBeardedDen Sep 05 '22

The s8... Can get android 10. Like really try a bit harder.

3

u/dh366 Sep 05 '22

Not officially

-4

u/spaceEngineeringDude Sep 05 '22

Sure… but in this case when the majority of people are buying from a few reputable manufacturers it just gives them a new minimum to aim for.

Those sketchy manufacturers are going to ignore the rules anyway and risk the fines

16

u/AAVale Sep 05 '22

You could make this same non-argument for literally any law and regulation, and hundreds of years of evidence shows that you're wrong and they make a difference.

14

u/DBDude Sep 05 '22

Apple already does about five years of full OS upgrade, and there's no sign of them wanting to do anything different.

Google could have upgraded the Pixel 3 -- the phone can handle it -- but they decided not to.

It just depends on the company. Nobody in the Android world is giving this much support, so it can only make things better.

-6

u/Volsnug Sep 05 '22

That’s because their “upgrades” are part of their planned obsolescence that slows older phones

5

u/DBDude Sep 05 '22

Computers tend to get slower with more modern operating systems as the new systems pack in more features. Try to run Windows 11 on a first-generation Core. Phones are no different. This is especially true with Apple and things like photographs, where the AI core is heavily involved in processing to achieve the desired result. Your old phone has an older or no AI core? Results will take longer.

However, unlike Android, Apple has actually released versions concentrating on making older phones faster.

3

u/AnEmuCat Sep 06 '22

These kinds of slowdowns are more likely to come from app updates than OS updates.

5

u/rpsls Sep 05 '22

This is the opposite of true. Several of the upgrades have explicitly improved performance on older phones. They even released a patch that allowed older phones to throttle instead of shut down when the batteries got so old they couldn’t supply the voltage and the owner didn’t want to do the cheap battery replacement Apple offers. (Which the internet also complained about. Some people just like to complain.)

-4

u/Dandistine Sep 05 '22

Except (at least initially) that is indeed exactly what happened. Apple released the 6s in Sept 2015. 16 months later in Jan 2017 iOS 10.2.1 was released which throttled iPhone 6s devices. The iPhone 7 was released in Sept 2016 and 13 months later iOS 11.2.1 released which throttled iPhone 7 devices. This "feature" was only acknowledged in December 2017 (which was after both the 6s and 7 had been throttled).

In 2020 they settled a lawsuit over this for $500M USD admitting no fault and are currently being sued in the UK over the same.

To an observer outside of Apple's engineering teams, Apple intentionally released 2 iOS updates which did intentionally slow down devices. The generous take is that Apple just communicated poorly and wanted peoples phones to survive longer on battery. The slightly less generous take is that both updates were designed to push users to new devices.

My personal take is that its much closer to the second. If this was intended to be a benefit to the user, they could have talked about it ahead of time. Warned users and given them the opportunity to not update or at least turn off that feature. But they didn't. They stayed silent for over a year.

Today you can toggle it on / off which is good. But to say that their "upgrades are a part of their planned obsolescence that slows older phones" is "the opposite of true" is incorrect. To an outside observer, Apple did indeed do exactly that with iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.1. At the time it very much appeared that Apple intentionally slowed devices (not even 2 years old) to push them to buy new ones.

0

u/nicuramar Sep 05 '22

At the time it very much appeared that Apple intentionally slowed devices (not even 2 years old) to push them to buy new ones.

And because it “appeared” like that to you, it’s simply true? I am specifically talking about the “to push them to buy new ones” part.

→ More replies

5

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

[deleted]

3

u/vanhalenbr Sep 05 '22

But this happens already and not most users care. For instance Apple is known for long updates they just did for 9 year old phones and still don’t sell more outside USA.

-3

u/zippy9002 Sep 05 '22

Yeah but we know how businesses treat minimums.

4

u/Shamewizard1995 Sep 05 '22

Which company apart from apple offers support longer than this new minimum? And apple takes long term support really seriously as it’s a major selling point for their products, there’s no chance they’ll decrease support time

2

u/cpgolfaddict Sep 05 '22

This is the big companies ( e.g. Samsung, Google, Apple) using government to hurt the competition.

7

u/DanielPhermous Sep 05 '22

This seems completely on brand for the EU with no outside influence required. Do you have any evidence?

I'm also curious is the EU's push for USB C on phones is the result of Samsung and Google trying to hurt Apple.

-3

u/cpgolfaddict Sep 06 '22

If I told you the sun will come up tomorrow do you need more evidence than it has happened so often before?

Under the guise of consumer protection, regulations come forward that end up written in such a way that compliance is difficult for all but the largest in the industry. It isn't just an EU thing. Here in the US it happens as well.

The end result will be fewer, or no inexpensive options. The most important thing here is choice.

Do I want my device to be viable and secure for longer? Absolutely, but I also dont want to be forced to spend $1000 - $1500 either.

3

u/DanielPhermous Sep 06 '22

If I told you the sun will come up tomorrow do you need more evidence than it has happened so often before?

Okay, provide some evidence that it's happened before.

To be clear: I know the EU does this kind of thing and I'm even aware that it sometimes restricts the ability of small companies to compete. I'm not, however, aware of any occasion where they did it at the behest of companies in the market they were regulating.

1

u/cpgolfaddict Sep 11 '22

There are smart people running these corporations. The politicians aren't exactly stupid either. They only get caught if they act stupidly. There is always a way around any laws against corruption. Call it what you will.... But i think of it as "legalized corruption". The best way to combat this is publicizing all info then let the voters decide.

1

u/DanielPhermous Sep 11 '22

So I guess you couldn't find any evidence.

1

u/arandomsadredditor Sep 06 '22

There are already many regulations that mobile phone manufacturers have to comply with. Why is this one more onerous than the rest?

1

u/cpgolfaddict Sep 11 '22

A safety regulation is a completely different matter.

I do think putting the onus on a mobile maker to explicitly publish a device's future compatibility with future OS or security might make sense. Let the buyer choose. Then if the mfr. Doesn't keep there promises....that can be acted on.

But forcing devices to meet this standard does not benefit the consumer. It harms the consumer with fewer choices.

1

u/arandomsadredditor Sep 11 '22

The consumer is already being harmed by them having an device that becomes more and more insecure over time due to poor governance by Google and unnecessary customisation of the OS by the manufacturer and the carrier.

They either have to run the risk of security flaws being exploited or have to buy a new phone regularly.

Will the cost to the consumer be less if they can safely use their phone for 5 years instead of 18 months?

This is always the response to laws designed to protect consumers and yet somehow the predicted apocalypse never arrives and things carry on pretty much how they did before.

1

u/Proper-Horse-7313 Sep 06 '22

Yes, you need more evidence than “it has happened many times before” — and we have evidence that it rises in a precise cycle daily and that cycle has never once occurred in some other way.

So there is in fact slightly better evidence for the sun rising daily than for your contention that regulation is always companies attempting to hurt other companies.

→ More replies

2

u/Slouchingtowardsbeth Sep 06 '22

Too bad America is too weak to take on our tech oligarchs. We have to rely on Europe to do it for us. It reminds me of that Winston Churchill quote, except swapping the words old and new and the word American for British. Please help us Europe. You're our only hope in this darkest hour.

“Then our [ancestors] beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the [American] Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the [Old] World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the [New].”

1

u/Turboginger Sep 05 '22

meanwhile, let me throw an OpenBSD on an IBM 386 right quick.

0

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

[deleted]

12

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

[deleted]

1

u/aaabigwyattmann2 Sep 05 '22

Google: "i will never financially recover from this"

-2

u/everythingissostupid Sep 05 '22

Um, they already do this. And the pixel 6, gets 5.

1

u/HellNaw98 Sep 06 '22

Say goodbye to sub ~$350 phones then

1

u/kgboot Sep 06 '22

Right. What about selling older models at a deep discount? If they want to clear out old models, would this require the five year window to start at time of sale? They plan the support window at the time of release.

1

u/sylsau Sep 06 '22

Just one thing to say: for once, thanks to the EU regulators.

0

u/Tiraon Sep 05 '22 edited Sep 05 '22

That would be an improvement but even better would be if the arm platform was standardized similarly to the x86 platform and got rid of the insane pile-up of proprietary hacks.

This would mean that os could be more easily ported to devices and shift the updating responsibility from device maker(what??, how is that sane?) to the os maker. On pc you can run current os(lightweight linux distro of your choice) on decades old hw and even Windows(prior to 11) could run on years old hw. Limited by hw power and driver compatibility.

Edit: I have extremely low powered phone(maybe 2015 low end equivalent?) running postmarketOS with acceptable performance. HW power is really not the problem.

4

u/nicuramar Sep 05 '22

x86 isn’t as standardized as you may think. Intel and AMD aren’t fully supervisor-mode compatible. Anyway, why call vendor specific implementations “hacks”?

2

u/AnEmuCat Sep 06 '22

You must not have tried to work with Android or ChromeOS hardware. There's always at least some driver that isn't supported by the manufacturer and is only used by a handful of devices. You can get the driver (eventually because phone vendors are slow to comply with GPL requirements), but somebody will need to patch it to make it work correctly with newer versions of the kernel and build it into a functional OS image with the right OS customizations for the device hardware. It's kind of like trying to run Linux on PC laptops, except that the device normally runs Linux and you're running into problems with the way Linux handles device driver compatibility (or doesn't).

1

u/ukezi Sep 06 '22

However that is device driver stuff, not ISA. Your Wifi card is useless without a driver, independently of if you are using x86 or ARM and Windows or Linux/Android. There was lots of abandoned hardware back when MS forced signed drivers for instance.

3

u/DanielPhermous Sep 05 '22

Standardisation is the enemy of innovation and the mobile space is still too dynamic to do something that would kill off innovation.

HW power is really not the problem.

Your standards are not everyone's standards. As someone with a young daughter, I value the modern chips with machine learning and optical processing built in to provide me with the best possible photos. I also value the extra battery life more powerful chips grants us.

3

u/ukezi Sep 06 '22

It's really not a problem of ARM architecture. The ISA is the same on nearly all phones, even if there was a generation change like form the 32 bit ARMv7 to the 64 bit ARMv8, but that is also a change that x86 did a few years ago.

The problem is more in the devices that the different manufactures are also adding to their SOCs that they aren't publicly documenting. One of the worst offenders there is Mediatek. Their stuff requires custom kernels and because they are not documenting the stuff nobody can implement it for newer kernels, freezing the device to a certain point in development.

1

u/autotldr Sep 05 '22

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 83%. (I'm a bot)


The regulators have suggested that phone vendors provide at least five years of security updates and three years of OS updates to their devices.

Samsung and Google are the only brands that promise five years of security updates to their phones.

A regulation like this could force companies to roll out longer updates not just for their flagship phones but also for the less premium, budget devices that usually don't get long-term update commitments from manufacturers.


Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: update#1 device#2 year#3 smartphone#4 five#5

1

u/SadOccasion Sep 06 '22

5 and 5 is a nice number

1

u/Hard_To_Handle99 Sep 06 '22

I'm on board with this good idea, but I can see certain companies challenging this. They prefer it when consumers feel inclined to buy a new phone every 1-2 years, not every 4-5 years.

2

u/leto78 Sep 06 '22

That is not how the EU works. If you don't follow the rules, you can get huge fines (up to 10% of global revenues) and/or forced to stop selling to the EU.

2

u/Hard_To_Handle99 Sep 06 '22

I mean working hard to prevent the law from passing rather than trying to dodge it once it is in motion.

1

u/BluehibiscusEmpire Sep 06 '22

Not a bad idea at all. Phones for just phone use cost of much that you should be able to use them safety for multiple years.

Also honestly for most people a flagship phone is more phone than they need for many many years.

1

u/Nonononoki Sep 06 '22

Also force the companies to make the boot loader unlockable after X years

-1

u/leto78 Sep 06 '22

Bootloaders are irrelevant when you stop having support from the chip manufacturer. The entire supply chain needs to be forced into providing updates, otherwise the phone will be stuck in some old version.

1

u/Nonononoki Sep 06 '22

Not true at all, e.g. the Samsung Galaxy S4 from 2013 is still supported by LineageOS 18 (Android 11)

1

u/leto78 Sep 06 '22

But that is the point. Some chipsets continue to have support after many years, while others just stop.

→ More replies

1

u/fgdfghdhj5yeh Sep 06 '22

maybe the morons will give up on their locked down bloat OS and just use stock android so we can actually update shit? (jk I know they'd never do that)

1

u/cr0ft Sep 06 '22

It won't fix planned obsolescence but maybe it will make a minimal dent.

As long as we keep capitalism, where it's in the companies best interest to make their devices fragile so people have to re-buy often, we'll continue to have potentially species killing issues with waste, but expecting 5 years out of a phone should be a minimum.

1

u/DanielPhermous Sep 06 '22

You say that as if we can dump capitalism. I expect it's hardwired into our behavioural genetics and significant evolution will be required to leave it behind.

1

u/YesReboot Sep 06 '22

Eu finally targeting companies other than apple

1

u/NiteShdw Sep 06 '22

What they should do is require that a user be able to unlock the bootloader on any phone. That at least gives the public an option to be able to continue supporting a phone with custom ROMs.

1

u/marxcom Sep 06 '22

The EU should probably just get into the phone business. They probably make better devices. That way they can decide what gets updated and what doesn’t in 10 years.

1

u/newInnings Sep 08 '22

Phone manufacturers:

The are gonna fuck around the definition with the word security. And call it a feature update with bug fix , and push updates to only new phones while leaving vulnerable phones back.

-3

u/TheMembership332 Sep 05 '22

Now watch how companies start adding useless code to fulfill update quotas

-10

u/OKC-RADRNATN Sep 05 '22

Lol they want that corona upgrade... Every since then my phone takes screen grabs for somebody... It's kinda obvious and sad cuz it says live screen view in black box... Fuck the govt

-11

u/vakoomclaener Sep 05 '22

Good luck validating that "security updates" aren't just "version string changed". Release cycle/OS support duration is something the market should handle, not smth the government should enforce. It's OK cheaper phones have less updates and are abandoned after a year: want more/better updates? buy a more expensive phone, as easy as this.

8

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Just because you have a more expensive phone doesn’t mean it will be supported longer. A Samsung phone can be more expensive then an iPhone but offers vastly different update promises.

0

u/vakoomclaener Sep 05 '22

That is usually the case when comparing two products of the same vendor. S-series Samsung flagship will receive the updates longer than the low-end A-series.

But you're right, the support cycle differs a lot between vendors and it's not just about price. Apple devices are nicely supported, which is one of their selling points and is included in the device's price.

If Samsung's support cycle is too short for you - just don't buy a Samsung; buy a Pixel which is ~same price and has a way better support (Pixel owner here).

Enforcing such a policy will negatively affect cheap low-end devices - it makes no sense to have 5yrs of support for them, the shitty hardware inside will die faster

1

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

If Samsung's support cycle is too short for you - just don't buy a Samsung; buy a Pixel which is ~same price and has a way better support (Pixel owner here).

So spend $700 on a phone that will only be guaranteed 3 OS updates and 5 years of security updates instead of spending the same amount of money on an iPhone which will get around 6 years of oS updates.

Enforcing such a policy will negatively affect cheap low-end devices - it makes no sense to have 5yrs of support for them, the shitty hardware inside will die faster

Plenty of people make low end devices last a long time, to ignore that they need software updates is ignorant and dangerous. Cheap devices should be guaranteed software updates, if you cannot then you should not be allowed to make them.

1

u/VanHansel Sep 05 '22

Forcing manufacturers to provide updates to cheap devices over the long run will increase the cost of delivering said device and make it more expensive to consumers.

This is especially true for Android where there are a multiplicity of phones with widely different hardware configurations supported by many companies.

This is easier to do for apple because they have fewer unique hardware configurations to support, but also less consumer choice.

4

u/[deleted] Sep 05 '22

Forcing manufacturers to provide updates to cheap devices over the long run will increase the cost of delivering said device and make it more expensive to consumers.

Oh no, now devices won't be thrown away every two years because they don't support Apps anymore.

This is easier to do for apple because they have fewer unique hardware configurations to support, but also less consumer choice.

Sounds like those companies should limit how many devices they are going to create if they cannot reasonably keep up with them.

→ More replies

4

u/Shamewizard1995 Sep 05 '22

This isn’t a discussion of cheap vs expensive. At the moment, there is only one manufacturer who meets the new minimum. This is pretty much an industry wide overhaul.

6

u/FriendlyDespot Sep 05 '22

It's OK cheaper phones have less updates and are abandoned after a year: want more/better updates? buy a more expensive phone, as easy as this.

Putting aside the absurd idea that poorer people don't deserve to have secure devices, you need to understand that having widespread unpatched security issues in phones is something that can affect infrastructure, the Internet, and all of society. There's huge cost to all of us involved in having tens of millions of people walking around with compromised devices in their pockets.

-13

u/ll-0000-ll Sep 05 '22

I dont see the point of security updates. Like what's the actual point of them?

2

u/lordbossharrow Sep 06 '22

Uh... security?

Stops bugs and loopholes in the software from being exploited by malicious parties so they can't steal your sensitive information etc.

-2

u/AnononAgramA Sep 06 '22

As long as the code is open for audit of said ENFORCED code that seems to be some what of Emergency.!!! Like there is a Crisis of sorts, then shouldnt be a problem...

Transparency or enforcement🤫

While i try to shed some realistic light that differs from the false... lets have a think to what else this aims to accomplish with LTS 🤔

Other then a happy consumer thats now garenteed long time support for set period.

With so many consumers sick of upgrading to the latest models depending on your budget of course leverage when brought or not..

But then the excitment of a brand new phone stright from the box. Smells amazing doesnt it... Adding towards that consumption as we are the consumers of course. Almost seems like this is backing the consumer...

LTS would slow down Consumtion so less money circulates in that area... as inflation grows taking money out of the economy is exactly whats needed from the sheer fact of being over stimulated by a money system that simply does not work...

Some of you might say oh but it does im comfortable and feeling rich good for you well youl buy the best model offering LTS OS and apparently better security out there to offer.

As others loose houses and have to sell there phones at second hand prices looking for a cheaper LTS model not feeling rich at all... but atleast theyve Got a few years of Long Time Support.

NEVER FEAR YOUR GOVERMENT IS HERE... We even pushed for LTS.

Well if thats not solving the worlds problems then i dunno what is... 3 years updates and 5 years security umm arnt updates for both what we demand 3 years of bleeding edge features... Seriously... like seriously...

Ummm........ Bockchain Technology anyone theres a start. What other enforcements will be enforced and for what reasons and do we as the consumers get to see full transparency in these reason's.

Just saying its your money they want or dont want. But it all lays in the consumers hands of what they want 😏 or should i say what they think they want..

Have to wait and see how it all pans out fellow friends... in that time have a think. All vulns are creative and that of technique secure one area for 5 to 10 years whatever feature rich even reads your heart beat...

Oh but we found this one techniqe that rendered all that useless. And check out this model its got LTS if i play with the Bluetooth Grandads pacemaker fucks up hes ok hes just scared of the TV remote now...

Maybe im completely wrong and the world doesn't revolve round money and power and that people wont exploit with creativity and mind blowing techniqe in a such technological advancments that drive and advanced world. But this is critical topic???

I dunno you tell me...

-1

u/maxximii Sep 05 '22

Sounds good, what companies don't already exceed that minimum?

2

u/Sakurasou7 Sep 06 '22

Chinese brands and local EU budget phones.