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Aug 24, 2023

iPhone's Revival: EU's Push for Replaceable Batteries Sparks Hope for User-Friendly Future

Electrical energy concept.Battery cells symbols on dark blue background.Energy Efficiency, Vector illustration.

Back in the day, when we used to have trouble with our mobile devices, such as battery issues or even needing a simple reboot, it was quite easy to pop the battery out of the back of the phone and put it back in, and your phone issue resided. As years passed, manufacturers like Apple and Android have transitioned to sealed batteries, eliminating the easy access we once had.

Do you find yourself nostalgic for those earlier days?

You may be able to experience this to revisit those days sooner than you think! Thanks to the recent groundbreaking move by the European Union (EU), we might quickly say farewell to the era of sealed smartphone batteries and welcome a new era of user-friendly, easily replaceable batteries.

The European Union is set to revolutionize the smartphone industry by introducing new rules that will transform rechargeable batteries' design and recycling practices.

What is the new regulation?

The European Parliament has approved regulations covering rechargeable industrial batteries and portable batteries used in devices such as iPhones, tablets, and cameras. The new regulation's goal is to reduce electronic waste, enhance consumer convenience, and promote sustainable practices for battery disposal. Allow me to explain.

Here are a few facts:

  • Only five percent of lithium-ion batteries (used in phones) are recycled, and most end up in the trash.
  • Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries yearly, totaling 180,000 tons of hazardous waste.


Easy-to-Replace Batteries for Smartphones

The most highlighted aspect of this new regulation is the requirement for devices such as smartphones and tablets to have easily replaceable batteries. The EU's new regulations will mandate manufacturers to rethink and change their designs to ensure consumers can easily remove and replace the batteries without specialized tools or knowledge.

There are several reasons why this move is considered good:

Enhanced Consumer Convenience:

When a battery no longer holds a charge, users can swap it out themselves, avoiding the hassle and cost of taking it to a repair center.

Extended Device Lifespan:

Many users replace the entire device when a device's battery is not working efficiently. This also leads to unnecessary electronic waste. With easily replaceable batteries, devices can upgrade their power sources, extending their lifespan and reducing the overall electronic waste generated.

Reduced Electronic Waste:

The regulation's focus on promoting easily replaceable batteries aligns with its broader efforts to reduce electronic waste. By enabling consumers to replace batteries independently, there will be fewer discarded devices, contributing to a more sustainable approach to technology consumption. The EU's new rules also establish ambitious targets for collecting and recycling old batteries.

With overwhelming support from the European Parliament, the regulations are expected to take effect in early 2027. However, the EU is open to delaying implementation if manufacturers can demonstrate that they need more time to comply fully. The EU's mandate for easily replaceable batteries in electronic devices may have implications for America and the global technology industry. While the EU's regulations are specific to devices sold within the EU, they can still influence manufacturers worldwide, including those in the United States.

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