Smart home appliances have long lives, but software support is much shorter

Image: Getty Images/Dani Serrano

UK consumer advocacy body Which? is calling on big name smart device makers to guarantee security updates for more than just two years. 

The organization points out that household appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and TVs are expected to last for a decade, yet many big brands are now offering smart variants that are only guaranteed software updates for two years, after which appliances can lose features, functionality and be exposed to security vulnerabilities.  

Which?’s estimated lifetime (ELT) is 6.8 years for TVs, 11 years for washing machines, and 13 years for dishwashers. The group also estimates that smart dishwashers cost on average £746 more upfront, or £300 more than traditional ones at £455. 

As Which notes, LG’s smart TVs and washing machines are guaranteed support for two years after launch, as opposed to from when they’re sold. LG said TVs will be supported with firmware security updates “up to five years from launch”. 

Samsung reported its TVs are guaranteed updates for three years after launch. It said it was aware of the UK’s recently amended Product Safety and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act and would comply with it. The act didn’t specify how long manufacturers would need to guarantee support for internet-connected appliances, but does require manufacturers are more transparent and upfront about how long products get software updates. 

The European Commission’s in September proposed Cyber Resilience Act is more prescriptive, and would, when passed, require connected-device manufacturers to

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