Samsung not obliged to update old phones

Consumentenbond has lost the lawsuit against Samsung

The Consumers Association (Consumentenbond) has lost the lawsuit against Samsung about their update policy for smartphones. With the lawsuit, the Consumers Association wanted to force Samsung to provide its phones with updates up to 2 years after purchase.

Samsung produces some of the world’s best-selling mobile phones running Google’s Android operating system. Regularly updates comes from Google that address newly discovered security flaws, and offers these to phone manufacturers such as Samsung. It is often up to the phone manufacturer to distribute the update to its customers.

For example, if a severe issue was discovered in the future, Samsung might choose to update all its previous handsets. Equally, it may not be able to update the software due to the nature of the bug and the limitations of older phone hardware.

According to the court in The Hague, the Consumentenbond showed insufficiently that there are actual security risks and that Samsung does not do enough about this. It also pointed out that many of its handsets no longer received any security updates at all. It claimed Samsung should support phones for at least four years after they first go on sale – or for at least two years after they were last sold

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According to the court they ruled that Samsung now sufficiently informs consumers about its update policy. The other questions, such as whether the behaviour of Samsung is non-compliant or an unfair commercial practice, have not been dealt with in substance by the court.

The Consumer Association stated that the ruling was disappointing and bad for consumers:’ Samsung is given the space to hide behind a multitude of models and technical and economic considerations. But Samsung chooses to bring so many models to the market, there is no one who forces them to do so. The Consumer Association did achieved something during the legal proceedings – Samsung has taken steps to provide consumers with better information,” the group said.

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Isaac Newton

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