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Respite for smartphone companies as government extends deadline to implement new battery certification norm

The new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) battery norm, which makes it mandatory for smartphone manufacturers to separately test and register the battery, the cells inside the battery, the adapter and the mobile handsets, has received an extension in deadline.

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Two months ago, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had released new norms that required handset vendors to test smartphone batteries separately, which was not the case earlier. The norms came into effect from June 1, under which the Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) demanded that every new smartphone model that is launched in the country needed to have its battery, the cells inside the battery, the adapter and the mobile handset tested and registered separately. The deadline for the compliance of the new norm was September 2016. However, in a recent decision taken by the government, the smartphone manufacturers have been granted another year to shift from the previous standards of battery testing to the new one.

According to a report by Economic Times, the Bureau of Indian Standards notified smartphone manufacturing companies that till August 2017, it will allow two battery certification norms to run simultaneously, one that was issued in 2012, and the other from 2015 (the one is question right now). However, post 2017, all manufacturers will have to strictly abide by the new battery norm. “If manufacturers who have models as per 2012 and 2015 versions fail to changeover completely to the revised version by August 31, 2017, existing models as per 2012 version shall be processed for deletion (will not be allowed to use in phones),” read a BIS notice sent out to all smartphone manufacturers on August 12.

We have already reported that the new norm could add to the time taken to get a device certified and even lead to delay in smartphone launches. Smartphone manufacturing companies had welcomed the move but they were all wary of the addition of more steps to the entire process of manufacturing to get the BIS certification. However, according to Economic Times, the manufacturers believe that the extended time for the new norm to be applicable will give them enough time to be able to follow the rule without having to cause a delay in smartphone launches. Also read: New BIS battery testing norm could delay upcoming smartphone launches

Apart from the new battery norm, there are some other rules too that are to be applicable to the handset industry by 2017. According to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), by January 2017, all smartphone manufacturers have to include an emergency panic button in all smartphones they produce, in order to ensure safety of all users, especially women. The telecom department asked all handset manufacturers to roll out a software update to enable a panic button the existing handsets. However, smartphone makers had opposed the move saying that it was impossible to install the panic button on the existing smartphones. Hence, the telecom ministry later clarified that the panic button rule will be applicable only to newly manufactured smartphone. Also read: Panic button to be installed only in new handsets, DoT clarifies

Besides that, by 2018, the government also mandates all mobile phones to have a GPS in order to locate them in times of emergency. The handset makers had raised opposition to the rule saying that it the compulsory GPS feature would lead to increase in price of low-cost phones.