manufacturers

Wed
21
Sep
John Lister's picture

New Rules May Mean Longer-Lasting Phones

Smartphone and tablet manufacturers may be forced to offer updates and security fixes for longer. It's part of a European plan to reduce the need for users to get rid of old devices so often. The proposals would also mean manufacturers making parts ... available for independent repairers and making batteries either long-lasting or replaceable. The move could bring benefits to device buyers around the world. However, analysts also fear it could mean an end to cheap handsets, even if they are a false economy. The proposals come in a draft law in the European Union. They are now out for public ... (view more)

Wed
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Phone Makers Attacked for Frequent Releases

Using the average phone a year longer would have the same environmental impact as taking 636,000 cars off the road each year according to campaigners. It's a claim that's sparked calls to end the habit of manufacturers to produce a new model every ... year. The calls come in the run-up to a major climate change conference, but remains unclear what incentive gadget-makers have to respond. The 636,000 cars figure comes from the Public Interest Research Group, whose campaigns include giving consumers a right to repair devices. It told The Register that an average of 416,000 US cellphones are ditched ... (view more)

Tue
05
Oct
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USB-C Could Become Phone Charger Standard

New laws in Europe could mean all phones have to use the same charger plug. It's uncertain if they will take effect but they could force manufacturers to make changes worldwide. The proposal would mean most portable electronic devices sold in ... European Union countries would have to have a USB-C charging port. If manufacturers supplied a charger with a power plug, the connection to the phone could be USB-C or USB-A. The rules would apply to phones, tablets, cameras, portable speakers, headphones and portable game consoles. Specific exemptions would include ear buds, fitness trackers and smart ... (view more)

Mon
13
Sep
John Lister's picture

Phones May Get Updates For Seven Years

Phone and tablet makers could be forced to update devices for at least seven years. The proposed law would only affect Europe but, if passed, could change policies around the world. At the moment, how long phones get security and feature updates is ... largely up to manufacturers. In many cases it can be as little as three years. Critics say that brings several problems, including unfairly pressuring owners to buy new devices even when their existing one works well. That also creates environmental problems with users struggling to find responsible ways to recycle old devices. Spare Parts Must Be ... (view more)

Tue
03
Aug
John Lister's picture

Phone, Gadget Repair 'Rules' to be Enforced by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted unanimously to enforce "right to repair" laws. The rules should make it harder for manufacturers to maintain monopolies over fixing gadgets such as phones. The FTC follows an executive order from the ... President that covered economic competition issues in general but included a specific reference to smartphones. (Source: theverge.com ) The moves aim to tackle companies such as phone makers which either block or restrict third-party companies or device buyers from carrying out repairs. This involves a range of tactics such as refusing to supply ... (view more)

Wed
30
Dec
John Lister's picture

Security Update Cut-Off Puts Phones At Risk

A consumer group has warned a time limit on updates could mean phones become a security risk before they wear out. The group wants laws to make it clearer how long devices will receive support. The warning comes from Which?, a British organization ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It surveyed 15,000 people about how long they kept their phones. The questions covered how long people had been using their current phone, whether it was newly manufactured when they got it, and how long they had used their previous handset. The calculations only took account of handsets that were replaced ... (view more)

Thu
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google: OEM Mods Make Android OS Less Safe

Google says phone and tablet makers who alter Android's code to add security measures may actually be undermining security. It says device manufacturers should stick to Android's own measures. Jann Horn of Google's Project Zero security team ... specifically pointed to an alteration made by Samsung for the Galaxy A50 phone, which he says contained a bug that made the device vulnerable to attack. He says he discovered and reported the bug to Samsung in September 2018 but it wasn't patched until Samsung's security updates released this month. (Source: blogspot.com ) Ironically Horn believes the ... (view more)

Wed
15
May
John Lister's picture

Researchers: Android Bloatware a Security Risk

Unwanted pre-installed software on Android devices often poses privacy and security risks according to a new study. That's because the so-called "bloatware" often by-passes Google's vetting process. One of the key selling points, or big drawbacks - ... depending on your perspective - of the Android operating system is that phone and tablet makers can customize their own devices, through the user interface and the apps that appear when a new device is first powered on. That's different from systems such as Apple, where both the hardware and software are controlled by the same company . The study ... (view more)

Thu
09
Aug
John Lister's picture

EU Wants to Ban Apple Lightening, Quick Charge

Officials in Europe want all phone companies to use the same technology for charging mobile devices. If the rules go ahead, it could mean Apple has to ditch its custom 'Lightning' port, and Qualcomm's 'Quick Charge' (used by Android devices). The ... European Union is running an "impact assessment study" to decide whether to push the policy and if so, whether to seek a voluntary agreement or impose rules. If it opts for the latter, manufacturers might decide it is easier to use the relevant charging port format worldwide rather than make specific handsets for Europe. (Source: independent.co.uk ) ... (view more)

Tue
10
May
John Lister's picture

Phone Manufacturers, Carriers Under Security Probe

Two government agencies are investigating the way smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers issue security updates for devices. They say they are particularly worried about older devices being left unpatched. It's a rare joint probe by both the ... Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While the FCC usually handles issues relating to the Internet and smartphones, the FTC usually only gets involved in cases of misleading advertising or unfair contracts. That may suggest officials are exploring whether companies have overstated the security their ... (view more)

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