It’s been a couple of years since smartphone giants switched away from replaceable batteries, but they could be making a mandatory comeback thanks to legislation that’s brewing from over the pond.
According to documents obtained by Dutch financial publication Het Financieele Dagblad, the European Union has drafted a plan that would prevent manufacturers from using non-removable batteries in their devices. The proposal appears to target any consumer electronic with a battery – not just smartphones and tablets.
Not surprisingly, the goal of the legislation is to reduce electronic waste. A lot of perfectly usable smartphones are trashed simply because of a dead or faulty battery that can’t be easily replaced by the user. These usually require a visit to a service center, which is a lot more inconvenient than just popping out a battery in the comfort of your own home.
The EU’s proposal also includes the creation of a new collection system for old smartphones, tablets, chargers, and similar electronics. Additionally, it aims to limit the use of environmentally harmful components and materials, such as cobalt and micro-plastics.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apple responds to this legislation, assuming it passes. The iPhone has never had a user-replaceable battery, which – allegedly – is part of what makes its slim design possible. A major re-engineering would be in order.