Saturday, September 23

The European Union committee continues to push for legislation that will benefit users and the environment. The most recent is the USB-C standardization with Apple as the most affected given iPhones still use a proprietary port. Seemingly, there’s another looming mandate about user-replaceable batteries that has far greater consequences for Apple and major companies.

The new proposed law in the region has been spotted by Pocket Now. It states that all manufacturers should introduce replaceable batteries for electronic devices or no less making it easier for users to upgrade or recycle the component.

However, the EU’s incoming legislation does not specifically outline how it will be achieved for devices with soldered batteries and far more complex form factors such as smartphones. Instead, the commission might stipulate it through amendments or before it is fully implemented, which is to take effect only 3.5 years from the signing.

While the initiative will face many hurdles and opposing views from big players like Apple and Samsung, its goals are the same as the Common Charger Act which is to reduce electronic waste in the long run. For that note, companies are legally obliged to collect discarded batteries from customers while meeting recycling targets.

How Apple, Samsung, and other companies would be exempted

There is one way Apple could circumvent the proposed law and that is through the recently launched self-repair program. Currently, it allows select iPhone models to be repaired by its customers while it will supply the necessary tools and genuine parts.

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In contrast, Samsung and Google have partnered with iFixit for DIY repair guides. Both names support more smartphone and tablet models under their self-service repair program compared to what the Cupertino firm offers.

What are your thoughts on user-replaceable batteries? Do you think such a measure would degrade the design and ergonomics of devices?


James is a long-time mobile phone fan who has been writing reviews of the latest phones and apps for the past few years. He has a particular interest in new features and how they can be used to improve the user experience. He is also a keen photographer and often takes pictures with his phone to show off the latest camera technology.