Replaceable Batteries Are Coming Back To Phones If The EU Gets Its Way

Back in the day, just about everything that used a battery had a hatch or a hutch that you could open to pull it out and replace it if need be. Whether it was a radio, a cordless phone, or a cellphone, it was a cinch to swap out a battery.

These days, many devices hide their batteries, deep beneath tamper-proof stickers and warnings that state there are “no user serviceable components inside.” The EU wants to change all that, though, and has voted to mandate that everything from cellphones to e-bikes must have easily replaceable batteries, with the legislation coming into effect as soon as 2024.

Back To The Old Ways

Many phone batteries are designed to be non-replacaeble from the factory. Thus, when they swell up or fail, they can damage the whole phone rather than merely popping off a removable panel. Credit: Mpt-matthew, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Once upon a time, most batteries in common use were primary cells – single-use items that could not be recharged and were intended to be discarded after use. Naturally, this meant that appliances relying on battery power had provisions to make swapping cells out a quick and easy process.

Fast forward to the modern day. Many of our appliances, and particularly our phones, rely on rechargeable lithium batteries. Since they’re rechargeable, manufacturers decided we no longer needed to replace them, and started sealing them away inside devices where they were free from the meddling fingers of the unwashed masses.

Many reasons are commonly cited for this change in design ethos, which hit the market slowly and then all at once as smartphone manufacturers moved to premium sealed-up designs with more exotic materials. Some claim it’s to provide the customer with a cleaner, fuss-free user experience, while others cite the packaging and miniaturization benefits of a device with a permanently-installed battery. It also makes it easier to waterproof a product, a feature that has been a particularly difficult design challenge on the smartphone market.

However, such designs come with the drawback that if the battery does fail, the device becomes useless, and is often thrown away. While one can perform surgery on modern smartphones and other devices with dead batteries, it’s a process fraught with danger for the inexperienced and can lead to damage or destruction of the device itself. And just as importantly, how do you recycle the battery if you can’t remove it?

A series of replaceable smartphone batteries from the GSM era. Few of us needed to swap them out regularly, but it could save you some trouble if you got caught short of charge in a bad spot and a friend had some juice left in a similar phone. Credit: Phrontis, CC-BY-SA-3.0

As part of the EU’s new battery regulations, all this is set to change. The text of these regulations is one that mandates that batteries be easily removable, replaceable, and recyclable in a wide range of devices. This includes smartphones and other typical consumer appliances, as well as batteries for “light means of transport” such as e-bikes and e-scooters.

By January 1, 2024, these devices must be designed such that batteries can be safely removed and replaced using “basic and commonly available tools” and “without causing damage to the appliance or batteries.” Manufacturers must also provide documentation for the removal and replacement procedure. This documentation must also be provided online for the duration of a product’s expected lifetime.

It’s a measure that could drastically change the design of all manner of technology for the EU market. All kinds of appliances use integrated, hidden batteries these days – everything from top-tier smartphones to action cameras and electric shavers. All of these products would have to be redesigned to allow batteries to be removed and replaced easily.

Of course, it’s not impossible, by any means. It was only five or so years ago that many smartphones had removable batteries as standard. It will, however, require engineers to go back to the drawing board, and perhaps make some trade-offs when it comes to slimness, materials, and style. It’s a punchy move from the EU, much in the same vein as its push to standardize chargers throughout the smartphone industry. Like that legislation, this measure could be a big win for consumers tired of throwing out devices with irreplaceable batteries.

Many devices, like this Philips Norelco 9700 shaver, feature in-built batteries. The company specifically advisers customers not to attempt “to open the product to
remove or replace the built-in rechargeable
battery.” Credit: moo.review, CC-BY-2.0

The EU isn’t just mandating replaceability when it comes to its war on e-waste, either. It comes along with a big push towards a more “circular economy” which relies more on recycling existing materials rather than relying solely on digging up new ones. Targets for collecting used portable batteries will be mandated, starting at a 45% collection rate by the end of 2023 and ramping up to 80% by the end of 2030. The law also mandates collection for all automotive, industrial, and electric vehicle batteries.

There’s also measures to mandate sustainability in battery production. For industrial and electric vehicle batteries, starting in 2030, these batteries should use a percentage of materials from recycled batteries. 12% of cobalt, 85% of lead, 4% of lithium, and 4% of nickel used in a battery should be from recovered sources. This steps up to 20% of cobalt, 10% of lithium, 12% of nickel by 2035, with the lead fraction remaining the same as the recycling infrastructure for that metal is already in place.

There’s a lot of good that could come from this legislation. The pressure on mining operations will be lower, and environmental impacts reduced, as recycling becomes a key part of the battery production supply chain. Additionally, there’ll be less need to toss out a device suffering battery issues, with replacement straightforward and easy. The trade-off is that companies will have to work a little harder to accommodate these requirements, and some designs may suffer a minor weight or size penalty in the meantime. But if that gives us longer-lived electrical gizmos and facilitates lithium recycling, it’s hard to argue against.

147 thoughts on “Replaceable Batteries Are Coming Back To Phones If The EU Gets Its Way

  1. They could make up their minds and remove the regulations that forbid you shipping devices with replaceable batteries, which, I suspect, are one of the reasons everybody glues them in now.

    1. I think the bigger problem is not being able to ship Li batteries internationally (without a whole lot of cost or regulations). Somewhere you got to be able to buy the darn replacement batteries say after the “lifetime” of the product.

      1. They need to force standardised battery form factors. Li Pouch cells need to start having a definex x-y-z size and a defined position and layout for the contacts. We already have standard shapes like the 9V battery, the AA or the 18650, they need to standardise pouch cells.

        1. Isn’t that the what makes phone internals bit more compact? They make cells in weird dimensions and just make do with routing the contacts with ribbon cable.

          Standard contacts would mean standard receivers for them which would mean that the phone internal layout must be similar if not the same for phones.

          1. I think there is now every possible size and compactness of phones done already. There has not been much development in that direction lately, because it simply makes no sense to make them even thinner. Still, this is not even prevented by requiring standardised dimensions. Standards can be extended. Companies don’t like it mainly because this prevents them from being two weeks faster than their competitors. They will claim such standardisation would prevent innovations, but actually the standardisation itself would be a very good innovation. It’s just an innovation which brings an entire industry forward, not just a single company. That’s generally something companies don’t like so much for obvious reasons.

          2. None of this replaceable battery stuff matters a smidget if the manufacturer can push out forced OTA updates that kill your battery life by running battery hungry services. Of course the rationalization is “the software hasn’t been optimized /just/ as well because fewer people are using a 3 year old phone”, but it’s obvious they’re killing your device with a remote switch. This has been provably happening both in Apple and Android phones and it is completely impossible to prevent unless the manufacturer shows full source code so such unfeatures can be found out, and that’s simply not happening, unless right to repair starts including right to repair software and firmware. I think it should.

            Anyways, a set of battery contacts isn’t something you are going to miss – the volume of that is minuscule compared to the whole phone.

            If EU reaches its goal, hopefully that will mean that the manufacturers have to *stock* batteries forever, which will quickly have them thinking of standardization.

          3. There used to be a time, that people did not design the battery around the hardware but the hardware around the battery.

            When i look back at the wife’s old S3 with replaceable battery and the hardware in it. The hardware these days is actually smaller the what her phone had. So the same size of device was able to still have a replaceable battery, with a slightly thinner bezel.

            I noticed that we have moved to thin devices, bigger devices with bigger batteries, with even bigger batteries, with even bigger batteries but our battery life has stalled in the last years. Simply because the idea of efficiency has been going out of the door in favor of raw performance.

            A standardized battery size will simple mean that devices will be more optimized around those sizes. And efficiency will become more of a factor again for the SOCs.

            Side note: Lets also push for that in the PC hardware sector! 350W, 450W, 600W GPUs! My 3900X idles at 20W SOC, a 5950X idled in the same hardware at fucking 45W!! Not counting the rest of the system, just the SOC power. Idling!!

            Or how AMD and Intel pushed their CPUs into massive overlock ranges with turbo boost, where just dropping the performance by 10%, drop the power draw by 50%. And crazy stuff like that. Its insane and needs to stop. We think of Pentium 4’s as power drawing monsters but in reality our CPUs in the past used to be more energy efficient then what we are getting these days.

            O here is a 15W CPU, that does idle very good but goes up to 45W power usage. And that 45W, well, how about 75W for AMD or 115W for Intel (PL1).

            When we push people to save power with LED lights, yet, we find it acceptable to have PC’s that idle at 100W+ for literally doing nothing. I look at how bright that 2W Ikea light is on my desk and think, why is my PC drawing that much power.

            The reality is that the industry has been loos handed a bit too long and its about time that somebody on the earth is starting to grip back at this unrivaled waste. It was sure as hell not going to be the US or China.

    2. You can ship a device with removable batteries, so long as they are IN it. In effect if you needed to mail a pile of batteries you could construct a torch which had a container for them and a big resistor plus an LED, and simply tighten one screw to close it. The batteries are now part of a device and can be shipped safely, so long as correct warnings are marked on the parcel and it is below some quantity limit of cell and mAh count. The person receiving the shipment may then choose to open up the torch device and extract all its batteries for use elsewhere.

    3. This!
      And why do we have regulations prohibiting replaceable batteries? Because when Li-ion entered the market people didn’t know they would literally explode if you sat on your pocket containing your keys and extra battery…
      EU – saving you from your own stupidity
      EU 20 years later – saving the world from our own stupidity

      1. I mean how could that not be so freaking obvious a problem, cartoonists were pointing out problems with fragility of mobile tech and pockets as long ago as 1991 ..
        https://books.google.ca/books?id=rNcvvlvuwlIC&lpg=PP1&pg=PT97#v=onepage&q&f=false
        (Just scroll that down a bit if the cartoon don’t show)

        I personally had that hard lesson when I stuck a shiny new digital LCD solar powered “credit card sized” calculator in a back pocket in about 1982-ish.

      2. >And why do we have regulations prohibiting replaceable batteries?

        There is no such legislation. Fairphone and others have continued to sell smart phones with *replaceable* batteries for many years now…legally :-) . We have so many non-replaceable batteries because of design & marketing decisions, not because they were mandated by the EU or whoever!

        1. They are more expensive thanks to the shipping regulations, so unless you are explicitly willing to make your product more expensive for the sake of that feature, like the Fairphone does, you are going to optimize that away.

    1. “12% of cobalt, 85% of lead, 4% of lithium, and 4% of nickel used in a battery should be from recovered sources.”

      Those are pretty small portions, and you don’t need to recycle all the batteries to get that except for maybe lead, and there are plenty of other sources of recycled lead. It’s important to provide financial incentives for recycling batteries, as the capital barrier is high but it could be very efficient and even eventually profitable without incentive. It needs a kick to get it there, and this is one small way to provide a little nudge.

      I expect a large change from this mandate will be a move back to AA and AAA batteries, as well as 18650s and similar in more demanding products like a high-end shaver. That way they don’t need to worry about recycling at all, or can at least very easily pawn it off on the battery provider.

      1. Custom batteries have a huge profit margin, and also allow complex controllers that track battery performance. I doubt that device manufacturers will willingly revert to standard form factors.

        1. That’s another thing that I wonder may be missing here. Does the law say anything about cryptographically locked batteries?

          A device with a replaceable battery is useless if you can’t source a compatible new one.

      2. The demand for batteries is rising by more than 1000 fold in the next decades IF all the predictions about electric cars and grid batteries etc. come true. Just digging up new minerals to supply the industry quickly enough will be an incredible challenge.

      3. In the US they have long mandated the recycling of car batteries, with the use of core charges it has been very successful. Such in a way to where one should have core charges on all standardized batteries. We also have states that have deposit on certain recyclables which also ensures the completion of the circle. Pretty sure this is what needs to be made standard is the use of core/deposit to help make recycling happen. There are many ppl whom are lazy and will sooner throw away vs recycling, but with money to be made the ppl hard up for money will dumpster dive and walk ditches to collect on that core/deposit this helping with recycling. Doesn’t mean we get to 100 percent recycling but it does mean that recycling will happen.

        1. Lead acid batteries are fairly easy to recycle. Just cut the top off and lift the plates out.

          Lithium batteries have all sorts of complications, such as Tesla batteries that are made crash and fire resistant by surrounding the cells with fire retarding foam glue. These also make it very resistant to being taken apart for recycling, and the compromise of not building them like that is more electric vehicle fires.

    2. I do not know but that seems like a bridge to cross later. Between lithium ion battery production eventually topping out and the 2-3 decades of cells chucked into landfill we’ll probably feel that crunch in 2040 or beyond. Who knows if we’ll be using the same battery tech by then or whether we’ll demand different materials.

      1. It’s hard to do much better chemically. Caesium and fluorine would make the best possible battery, but it’d combust instantly. I read several years ago that batteries might at best attain 5x their existing capacity as of that moment. So far we’re still well under 2x.

  2. Be interesting to see if this really works, after all importing from outside of the EU so ignoring these rules will no doubt happen, and there are bound to be loopholes somewhere – “its not a smartphone its a ‘marine satnav’ (Honest guv, it only looks like a smartphone) so exempt from these rules”.

    Overall a good idea, and maybe it will bring back devices thick enough to hold comfortably with gasket and screw sealed compartments so many repairs are easy rather than the annoying glue and click fit designed for but one cycle… The EU is a pretty big market, that might just have enough money in it to shift designs for all markets…

    That said there is IMO still a time and a place for ‘single use’ not designed for repair devices, really the important factor there is not if its easy to repair but if it can be dismantled for recycling effectively (assuming its using any materials particularly worth proper recycling). And you have to ask at what point does a battery become a product in its own right – the swappable battery of power tools and many e-bike for instance are easy to replace the whole unit (at least if compatible packs are still made) but getting into the battery pack to repair it on the other hand…

    1. There’s a long history of industry finding creative ways around regulatory hurdles – hell, as long as there have been laws and taxes there have been clearly documented attempts to avoid them. And a good law is designed to take advantage of that. Tell industry what it’s *not* allowed to do in the right way, make sure they can’t just cheat to trivially avoid it, and anything industry does to avoid the law will end up serving the same purpose anyway.

      The EU seems to be the world champion at this; they’ve been tightening efficiency and pollution standards progressively over decades with obvious positive outcomes. RoHS has reduced or eliminated a lot of heavy metals from the electronics industry and the e-waste stream. Even phones have improved since the EU slapped the industry and prevented them from using constantly changing proprietary connectors.

      Occasionally there’s a cheater (like VW) or an asshole (like Apple) but on the whole laws like this have been surprisingly effective.

      1. >Tell industry what it’s *not* allowed to do in the right way, make sure they can’t just cheat to trivially avoid it, and anything industry does to avoid the law will end up serving the same purpose anyway.

        Very true, but there are also times it doesn’t work very well, at least the first few goes at it, for any number of reasons – because they avoid it in an unforeseen ‘bad’ way perhaps, and only time will tell if this really works out as intended.

  3. I’m a very handy person, but when I replaced the battery on my G7 ThinQ, it was never the same. The glue strip holding the back glass on was simply too fiddly, too thin and with too many curves, and was nigh impossible for human hands to apply properly. It had to live in a case from then on just to hold the back on. I’m sure somebody could have done it better, but it wouldn’t be a huge number.

    I hope this legislation works as intended. I’ll try to hold onto my phone until late 2023 or early 2024 and pick a European phone up to use on the T-Mobile network (pending research on radio bands, of course).

      1. It’s easy to apply a screen protector free of trapped dust and bubbles. Peel the backing off the protector while running water on it. Then just before you apply the protector, wipe the screen with a damp cloth. The water eliminates the static charge caused by peeling the backing, which will suck dust particles to it out of the air from several inches away.

        The water also prevents instant adhering of the adhesive so the protector can be peeled off and repositioned. Once it’s on right, use a credit card or the tool provided with the protector to squeegee out air bubbles. Over a couple of days the water will evaporate out.

        Where did I learn these tricks? From a car window tint guy. For that they put a tiny bit of dish soap in the water.

  4. A nice idea, with good intentions ( maybe ) . But the devil is in the implementation. How will the battery recycling made ? Who will be responsible for that ? And should the phone manufacturer sell the batteries ? Who is to blame if a phone malfunctions due to a fake / low quality battery ?

    Those things are not made in the EU ( are they ? I really do not know about that ) . So will they refuse to enable phones that do not obey that ? And force manufacturers to have two models ?

    At the end, it all comes down to cost. Are the users in the EU ok with paying more for these ?

    1. Oh yes, they will block importing phones which do not fit requirements. That’s how EU works and TBH I love it. They do not tend to discuss too much with corporations.

      As for the price I would say that setting the price tag is the first step of designing new product, not last. Thus I would expect that manufacturers will do a lot to keep prices in reasonable range. It’s their business.

      1. Actually, the EU does discuss a lot with corporations who tend to like things like a level playing field for all. Most of the EU directives are formulated after intense consultation with various stakeholders, including industry. For example the phasing out of incandescent bulbs at the request of Philips and other big players.

    2. * How will the battery recycling made ?
      If you want to recycle, you need to start somewhere. A good start is to actually *design* things to be recyclable. Like having a removable battery. :) How to actually recycle the materials of the battery is a question for experts in that field.

      * Who will be responsible for that ?
      The EU will fund projects that will try to find ways to recycle the batteries. Similarly to how the US funds ‘defense’ companies for finding ways to destroy the enemy.

      * And should the phone manufacturer sell the batteries ?
      Why would they? Obviously they will package a battery with the phone. But anyone can offer compatible batteries. Basically not different than now, where I buy my replacement batteries off of EBay. Big difference paying Apple $80 for replacing my battery, or buying a compatible battery off of EBay for $9 and replacing it myself. Never had any issues. Apart from the nasty manufacturer making it nigh impossible to replace the battery without specialist tools… Besides, the manufacturer himself can opt to sell replacement batteries and make a buck of that. Why not?

      * Who is to blame if a phone malfunctions due to a fake / low quality battery ?
      The battery manufacturer. If it’s an EU manufacturer, they are bound by law to give some warranty. But I don’t think it will include compensating for the phone. Maybe in case the battery catches fire. If the manufacturer is not an EU manufacturer, then you are on your own.

      Or if the phone manufacturer himself (e.g. Apple, Samsung) will sell batteries, they can opt to sell them as ‘The Real Thing’ for 5x the price, but offer a guarantee to replace your phone if their battery messes it up. Something does tell me that no manufacturer will simply offer such a guarantee, though.

      However, batteries are ‘smart’ these days. It’s really simple to add some digital certificate to the battery that can confirm its authenticity. And really simple to store that information on the phone in some secure storage (well, at least on Apple hardware). So I’m sure that manufacturers will be able to find ways.

      “It all comes down to cost.”. Well, that’s the EU for you. To get a better life for everyone, we all chip in. Maybe it will slow developments somewhat, but for sure it will keep inequalities in the standard of living of people within parameters, and will help prevent disasters caused by unscrupulous people. At the least, these unscrupulous people will stick out like a sore thumb and will be dealt with. Hopefully before they cause disasters, but at least before they leave a whole trail of disasters behind them.

    3. By your reasoning we’d still be driving badly polluting cars with shitty fuel efficiency with zero safety features because at the time the laws were made manufacturers didn’t know how to make better ones, and there was no reason to bother figuring it out.

      Laws are there to force industry to solve problems that they otherwise wouldn’t because it’s cheaper not to. Sometimes the law just stops some suboptimal anti-competitive behaviour and doesn’t really need hard technical solutions (e.g. the EU law that forced phone manufacturers to use a standard charging connector) and others require years of R&D and billions of dollars of investment and a long process of incremental improvement (e.g. those fuel efficiency and pollution and safety standards.)

      High quality regulatory frameworks are the reason most of the stuff we own and use on a daily basis isn’t made out of low-quality chinesium.

    4. Usually once EU puts it foot down everyone tends to listen because its not only one of the worlds biggest consumer markets (second to USA with China close by), but also because theres “Brussels Effect” any regulation by EU is closely watched by dozens of countries around the world and they usually make similar regulations (with some countries like members of EFTA or EEA being obliged to). Its like moving elephant once it moved everyone makes space to not get squashed.

  5. The proposal would apply to imports as well as goods manufactured in the EU. That’s standard policy.

    It wouldn’t stop people from buying grey imports, but it adds to the list of reasons to not do so.

    1. I expect a lot of companies will just make one model for the whole world so the “strict” EU standard becomes a de facto world standard. This has already happened for a lot of Chinese made products

      1. Would be nice if they’d stop making crippled or “feature reduced” phones for the US and Canada market. Samsung’s lower range of phones are notorious for the Asia and EU models having more RAM, more built in storage, higher resolution displays, even fingerprint locks, on the “same model” phone. Though on many of those the US Canada models had removable batteries while the EU Asia ones didn’t. Unfortunately those phones were useless in North America because they used different frequency ranges.

        Samsung has done that crippling for North America for a long time. Remember the Galaxy S2, their last phone with a slide out keyboard? Well the EU Asia version had better specs AND could do AV out the headphone jack. Over here we didn’t get that.

        Samsung’s Smart TV’s are a bit less smart in North America. Europeans get to plug in a USB drive and DVR broadcast TV. North Americans don’t get that.

    2. It will, for the same reason: companies won’t want to develop each model twice, and if everyone is bound to the same rules they don’t need to make the phones thinner, just thinner than the other guy.

    1. Bullshit. I can still pull out a decade old Android phone of mine and use it. Might be slow as piss, might not run recent apps, but it still *works* like it did when I bought it. My previous phone lasted for *years* and through several battery changes and other part replacements, and worked until I literally wore it out.

      My current Android phone? It’s 2 years old, the battery barely lasts 12 hours and it’s declining fast… but this one is sealed shut. Either I crack it open, permanently carry around an external battery pack, or I replace it entirely, and all of those options suck.

        1. If you are worried enough by the security patches you can easily install the latest AOSP version.

          For most of the population the “security risk” has no impact because social engineering or physical attacks are way easier.

          1. Depends on the phone / manufacturer – my previous huawei turned out to have a lock on the bootloader, and they wouldn’t give me the code no matter how many times I told them that it was, in fact, me who owned the phone, not them. Avoid huawei!

            My previous and current phones by cubot (cheap mediatek phones with stock android) do have unlockable bootloaders in the settings
            And have removeable batteries, but good luck finding new replacements in the same form factor (They’ll sell you components if you email them, but aren’t making new ones forever so you’ll get an old-but-unused most likely)
            – if anything, a non-user-removeable pouch battery might be easier to replace because it doesn’t have to have the same fittings, so you can buy aslightly smaller generic one, even if you need to melt glue apart with a heat gun to get to it

    2. Some companies (like cubot, which I have) have unlocked bootloaders so you can update your own firmware

      And my current one, bought last year, has a removable battery and headphone jack too! (and a microsd slot)
      (the previous one lasted until it got wet – took the battery out quickly enough that it sort of still worked, but something too small for me to find hadcorroded and there was a stripe on the screen that wouldn’t respond to touch. It was nice how most of it came apart with a single small phillips head screwdriver though!)

      Sometimes the cheaper brands are better than the big ones, because they can’t figure out how to screw you over

      It’s also nice to have completely stock android without all the bloatware – unlike my previous huawei which was awful in that regard – only had 16GB of internal storage, half filled with duplicated unremovable apps where there was a google version and a huawei version

  6. Oh, FU, EU. Stupid legislation like this makes me glad we left. Goodbye to slim waterproof phones, and back to bricks that you need to keep in a plastic bag in the rain.

    And for what benefit? So idiots* can replace batteries in devices which, by the time they need replacing, are slow, inefficient, unsupported and insecure.

    * competent technicians can already replace batteries in modern smartphones.

    The reason people don’t replace batteries isn’t because we can’t, it’s because we don’t want to. I don’t want to use an old android with an insecure kernel that never gets patched. I don’t want to use an old iPhone which only has 3G. And I definitely don’t want a phone which dies randomly when the little plastic catch holding the battery gets weak and the battery drops out.

    If they wanted to solve things, they could just mandate manufacturers provide long-term support and maintenance.

    1. I’ve replaced a prematurely swollen battery (1yo, never fast charged, never below 15%), it was a nightmare due to the super-complicated glue gasket. I’d happily accept 8 exterior screws, an o-ring and a 2-3mm thicker phone so I don’t have to deal with the manufacturer or the nightmare of modern battery replacement if one happens to soil the bed again.

      1. The Ulefone Armor 9 is exactly as you describe. MASSIVE phone, maybe 1/2″ thick but the whole thing comes apart with T5 screws, they even give you a screwdriver with the phone.

    2. Ah yes, obviously the reason new phones don’t have “an insecure kernel that never gets patched” or “only has 3G” is because the battery is now sealed in. :D

      I bet you also enjoyed buying new chargers and docks every time you got a new phone because they changed the connector again. You can thank “stupid legislation like this” for forcing phone manufacturers to use a standard connector.

      Your phone won’t have it’s battery fall out randomly because of this law, it’ll fall out because you picked a shitty phone from a shitty manufacturer.

      1. Of course sealed batteries isn’t why new phones don’t have insecurities. You’ve made a complete straw man.
        New phones have problems, but they get patches. Old phones don’t. That’s why most people don’t use old phones.

        Any yes, I did enjoy having one plug to charge all my devices, until the EU mandated they changed it. Now my new iPad has a different plug.

        Batteries came lose on perfectly good brand devices like Sony and Motorola. Even good manufacturers get it wrong.

        1. Please keep in mind that apple is a small player in the global phone market. Naturally apple have no option except to comply or lose out on a .5 billion consumer market.

    3. | Oh, FU, EU. Stupid legislation like this makes me glad we left. Goodbye to slim waterproof phones, and
      | back to bricks that you need to keep in a plastic bag in the rain.
      | And for what benefit? So idiots* can replace batteries in devices which, by the time they need replacing,
      | are slow, inefficient, unsupported and insecure.

      Well, talk about making an elephant out of a mosquito… It’s of course a major, multi-year, multi-million R&D project to design a battery bay with a connector… :+)

      Anyway, I do agree with you about the waterproofing. I am sure that at least one of the manufacturers will bring it up. And as the EU actually listens to the manufacturers, I am sure that they will add exceptions for that. But as the EU bureaucracy works quite well, for sure they will also require proof from the manufacturers that their phones are properly certified. Which will again benefit everyone, because waterproof phones will all BE waterproof, instead of only CLAIM to be waterproof.

      This legislation is rooted in the protection of the environment and promoting of recyclability. Which are both good causes.

      And never forget that recycling is going to be big in the near future. Of course mining is simpler and cheaper. Until your mine is depleted. And where are you going to get your raw materials from then? Of course from the recycler…

      Ok, you could also aim for space, to colonise space and have your mining operations there. But nobody knows when we will be technologically advanced enough to make it pay for itself and create a profit on top of it. And if our raw resources are depleted before we reach that point, we are basically f’ed and will be stuck on this planet forever.

      So recycling is getting ready to become the Next Great Thing, it’s inevitable. And the EU is right at the forefront. Who knows where it will lead to. Maybe we will become the inventors of the replicator. :P

      The thing that we in the EU realise is that a virus needs a host to survive. And if it kills the host, it also kills itself and all of its future offspring. The COVID19 pandemic has taught us again that only viruses that don’t kill their host, can survive, multiply and thrive. Be like that virus, not like the first.

      Virus reference was taken from Agent Smith. :P But why see it as an insult? Viruses are immensely successful in this world. Or at least, those viruses that don’t kill their host before they can spread.

      1. > I do agree with you about the waterproofing. I am sure that at least one of the manufacturers will bring it up.

        I already have a phone with a replaceable battery that is also IP67. The biggest problem with waterproofing a phone is not the battery, but the charging port and audio jack, SD card slot, SIM card, side buttons etc. which usually require a removable back cover that is sealed with gaskets.

        Of course if you’re an Apple user, removing all ports and features to get a phone that you can shower with may make sense – at least until you drop the phone and it gets a tiny crack in one corner where the water can leak in anyways.

        And for using your phone in the rain: capacitive touch screens don’t work when wet. That’s another red herring. A thousand dollar ultra-thin boutique phone is not something you’d take outdoors on a hiking trip anyways because it’s not rugged enough – you need a protective casing anyways to keep it from snapping in half in your backpack.

  7. Oh if only this will bleed into USA market things also!!
    Perhaps we might actually get standardized battery case mountings and electrical contacts?
    Would be nice to finally have cordless power tools that used a standard eF-ing battery package at long last.

    1. Ryobi’s ONE+ tools have used the same battery form for over 25 years. They put the over-discharge protection into the lithium-ion batteries so they can work in the old blue and orange tools. Good way to avoid having to make the tools “smart”. Most of them the electrics are just the wires, the motor and the switch. 18V straight to the motor.

      You can use an old NiCd ONE+ battery in a new yellow ONE+ tool, if you really want to. Performance will suck but it’ll work.

  8. This is a huge win for the right-to-repair movement. I’m frankly sick of the built-in obsolescence manufacturers force upon us by sealing batteries and other components into devices under the guise of “progress”. The boogeyman of slow (artificially introduced by “updates”) and insecure (hypothetical weaknesses in encryption that require a PhD to exploit) are just a cover for forcing consumers to step on the treadmill of constant upgrades to the advantage of the Apple’s (and others!) pocketbook. Phones are hugely expensive devices given their utility, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t last less than 5 years. But good luck getting that to fly when the design of that phone prevents the home-gamer from getting his hands dirty without destroying the device during the repair process.

    1. “Phones are hugely expensive devices given their utility”

      I’m not sure what you mean here. “Phones are more expensive than their utility warrants” doesn’t make sense, because they can largely fill the role of a desktop, phone, camera, flashlight, clock, and so on. I think what you might have meant is “Given how necessary they are, phones are hugely expensive,” which still doesn’t work. Yes, excellent new devices are out of reach for the poor – but decent, functional smartphones are available for less than a day’s wage for most Americans at least. I got a used Samsung S8 just before the S10 came out and it is still a fantastic phone with all its original parts, including battery.

      I really do wish more manufacturers would use the stretch-release adhesives like 3M Command strips, if they insist on using adhesives rather than fasteners. Daughter’s laptop screen was secured with stretch strips and it was a breeze to replace.

      1. Phones don’t really do any of that. They can, but they’re far from optimal for any of it.

        I still find myself owning a desktop, a laptop, a compact camera, a flashlight, a clock… and so on. Despite the technical possibility to do all sorts of things, a smartphone’s capabilities run out beyond anything but trivial media consumption.

        1. You are on hackaday. Likely have a use for an actual general purpose computer.

          Most schlubs use their phones for self bugging, media consumption, crappy gaming, a crap camera and as phones.

  9. Love to see right to repair victories but I don’t see the point, the phones are unusable due to update bloat before the battery is at 50% life. A law against needing 12 gigs of RAM to run Facebook would be nice

    1. A phone with 80% capacity can feel much worse than when it was at 100%, depending on one’s typical usage profiles. That’s a threshold that can be reached far before 3-4 years (which is an optimistic support timeframe, but still).

      1. A charging cycle up to 80% won’t degrade a battery’s life expectancy, charging to 100% will. It’d be nice if phone manufacturers/programmers added the ability to set a max charge amount, so it stopped charging at that 80% target value, despite being plugged in, cuz less phones would need their batteries replaced. Fan of this regulation, btw.

    2. Oh, by the way. I bought my iPhone 6 Plus in 2015 or so. Last year the battery life had started to make the phone unusable. So I bought a new battery for $9 from EBay, replaced it myself, and am still using that phone. Still works like new, except the iOS version is a bit old (mainly browser incompatibilities are starting to slowly creep in) and isn’t updated anymore (but still gets security updates by the way).

      So, maybe your issue is with Android phones only?

      1. It’s really weird that Apple users seem to think that they are the only phone users in the world, I presume they must think all mobo design should be Mac or die.

        Then again, given your BREXIT comment from earlier, you seem to fit the profile of the modern major armchair.

  10. I think the EU has done everyone a favor – like when they banned lead solder – which is a great thing to keep out of the dump. Now at least it will be trivial to remove the battery like it used to be – rather than requiring major surgery.

      1. Just don’t put your electronics in cold storage. It takes between 6-12 months for tin pest to take effect, but it’s reversed quickly if the device is brought to temperatures above 13 C where the tin phase change reverses. Temperature cycling causes tiny kernels of tin to change phase and return back, which eventually causes surface corrosion as the tin flakes off, but that takes years if not decades.

        In actuality, the RoHS hasn’t saved very much lead out of the dump. One car battery chucked into the woods is equivalent to thousands and thousands of tons of e-waste containing leaded solder, because the amount of lead there would be in consumer electronics tends to be minuscule. There are several standing exemptions for high reliability stuff, such as: “Lead in solders for servers, storage and storage array systems, network infrastructure equipment for switching, transmission, and network management for telecommunications. (Category 7b)”. Medical devices, vehicles, are exempt from RoHS.

        In other words, lead isn’t actually banned in the EU. It’s only restricted in consumer grade electronics.

        1. In the calculus of this laws effect, don’t forget the entire generation of consumer hardware that was junked early due to tin whiskers.

          Granting they have gotten better.

  11. I hate equipments with non-removable batteries. It’s not hard to make a removable battery, it doesn’t add bulk or extra space, I mean, how thick is a layer of plastic anyway, and it’s not like we don’t know how to make seals for things that are supposed to be opened or closed from time to time.

    Batteries are the #1 planned obsolescence thing in a phone. #2 is the lack of software updates rendering your perfectly good phone obsolete shortly after you bought it. Law should mandate updates for at least 10 years.

  12. weird to see so many people saying they toss their phones before the battery dies. i’ve got one phone (using it today as an alarmclock) that has had two battery replacements in its 9 year life, much to the detriment of its plastic shell. and my daily driver is on its second battery (phone is 3 years old).

    and this is a big deal for screens as well. when i’ve replaced screens, the hardest part has been peeling the battery off of the back of it. the glue they use makes it nearly impossible to not damage the battery! just removing that one hurdle will make screen replacements much easier.

    and personally, i wouldn’t mind if phones get slightly thicker. when they reached 0.4in it was “wow!!” but all the thinness since then hasn’t really benefitted any. my current phone is 0.24in. that last 0.16in of “progress” absolutely did not gain me anything, it just makes it harder to work on and scratches things up with the camera bump.

  13. It’s a step in the right direction, but I have another reservation born of personal experience… Availability.

    I have several devices with batteries (none more than 5 years old) for which there are no available replacement batteries from the manufacturer at all that aren’t already considered ‘New Old Stock’…

    Sure, some aftermarket batteries might be reputable, but many aren’t, and given the potential failure modes of lithium batteries, cheap knock-offs are not an acceptable solution most of the time.

    My point is: Mandating replaceable batteries alone is not enough. If the EU is at all serious, then any meaningful legislation on the matter should include law (with teeth) insisting that full-use replacement batteries be kept in the supply stream and available for a minimum duration (5 years or more). Otherwise, having the ability to replace the battery may well be meaningless.

    1. yeah…it’d help a lot if an “industry consortium” or so on could come up with a few standard batteries so each manufacturer doesn’t take on such a mandate alone. i know a few different sizes of nokia batteries have seen widespread use in other models.

      but even though there is a lot of fragmentation in the market and competition and so on, a *lot* of phones are the top models from the top brands. there are just a zillion iphones out there. the top 10 phones will always be easy to get parts for, so this will hopefully go the extra step of making those parts easy to use.

      i agree that knockoff batteries are a concern but you’re fooling yourself if you think OEM batteries are much better.

    2. Yeah, I’d rather see right-to-repair legislation aimed at things that deliberately stop repair (like apple banning their manufacturers from selling replacement chips to third parties, or serialising components so you get errors replacing like-for-like), rather than side-effects (there are legitimate reasons for non-removable batteries – waterproofing mostly, but also a higher space/mass power density when the cell is physically protected by the phone and doesn’t need thick enough plastic to withstand user fumbles outside of it)

      A law saying that all components must be available from the manufacturer, with less than 3x the cost of the finished product to get all the parts, would be much more useful

      And “Without proprietary tools” rather than “with simple tools” would be better wording – I’d be happy to take a phone to an independent repair shop that has a heat gun and solder station to change a non-user-removable battery if that made it waterproof/higher capacity (for the same size/weight), as long as they don’t need to pay the manufacturer for software to make the serial numbers accept each other

  14. My girlfriends vibrator failed because the rechargeable battery died. I tried to open it but they used some kind of security screws. If it had used an 18650 it could still be in service. She had to buy a new one.

    This is also why I have always bought a corded electric shaver. Once the battery dies it end up in the trash.

    1. Hah. My shaver is years old and runs on steroids!
      Originally had one internal 1,2v NiCd which of course died. but instead of replacing the battery I removed it and replaced the mains socket with a low voltage DC barrel connector.
      -> The motor now screams away with and external 3,3V SMPS. :-)

      1. My Philips shaver had NiMH batteries, but the controller in the device bricked itself when the cells ran completely empty. The charger part of the shaver still works, it just won’t run. I can poke voltage into the gate of the main output transistor and latch it on, so there’s nothing technically wrong with the circuit.

        I replaced the battery cell and installed a simple switch to bypass the CPU.

  15. It will NOT change a lot for phones – “must be designed such that batteries can be safely removed and replaced using basic and commonly available tools and without causing damage to the appliance or batteries.” – This is already the case for many phones.

    But there are other devices like headphones and toothbrushes where it’s usally not possible.

  16. I hope this spills over into the US market.

    I want a changeable battery. Will I use the same phone beyond the life of it’s battery? Maybe, maybe not. Back when changeable batteries were common I would always buy a couple extras and an external charger. It’s great to be able to go from 0 to 100% charge instantly and without being tethered to the charger!

    And if there was an extended battery available.. I snatched those right up. Even if it did mean putting on a fat back. Because…

    I don’t give a sh1t about my phone being thin. Why does that matter to anyone? Ok, I see the zombies shuffling around with their $1500 iPhones in their back pockets. No way am I ever going to do that. I don’t care how strong Gorilla Glass has become. I’m not sitting on it! And given how many people I still see walking around with spider webbed screens I feel pretty good about that decision.

    As for waterproofing… Yup. It’s harder with a removeable back. Not that hard, it just needs a gasket. Oh, no, that’s another millimeter!! But I had plenty of phones that weren’t waterproof. I’ve never dropped one in water. I have used them outside when there was a light mist. I never had a problem.

    Seriously, if you can’t keep your expensive phone out of the toilet maybe you need a landline. Or a life alert…

    1. You reminded me of my idiot stepfather. That man dropped or destroyed more phones than I could imagine. In the toilet, left on roof of car, oops I dove in the ocean, in the toilet again, on car roof again, left on dash in CA summer, washed with pants… on and on.

      1. I put my old Nokia 6110 Navigator (circa 2009) through the wash in the pocket of my pants. Hung it outside to dry (still in the pants pocket), The phone worked 100% fine! In fact, it still works today, but of course my country has sold off the old 2G spectrum so I was forced to buy a new phone anyway.

    2. I’ve lost a bunch of phones to water damage. First, a Treo 650 fell out of my shirt pocket into a tub of soapy water. Second, I trusted the guy I rented a kayak from that the kayak’s gasketed storage compartment was waterproof: it wasn’t, and sea water killed the phone. Third, I had an old phone in an allegedly waterproof bag at the bottom of a shallow swimming pool so I could see my time while swimming laps. Bag failed and phone died, but no biggie as I want using this phone except as a stopwatch. There’s more, but I’ll stop here.

  17. For me this does not go far enough.
    What I’d really like is a mandate to use a limed number of fixed size batteries, or battery mounting systems.
    This would for example make the batteries of all brands of cordless drilss exchangable.

    Now a cordless drill with a worn out battery is often thrown away, even if only the battery is worn out and even replacable because new batteries are often more expensive then a new drill with batteries, and this is a completely bonkers situation.

    If the mounting of such batteries are the same for all brands, then there will be real competition between batterie manufacturers and prices for those batteries will become reasonable. Probably also some companies will spring up that deliver after-market batteries.

    1. This.

      I don’t know that it bothers me so much for phones, but cordless power tool battery ecosystems are just a total scam.

      48 different lines of 18v tools out there, all with exactly the same bundle of 18650 cells in their packs. But all deliberately designed to have arbitrary, ever so slightly different configurations of contact pins and attachment points, so nobody might be tempted to use their existing collection of brand A batteries on a brand B tool…

      Fingers crossed that this comes to the attention of an EU commission soon too.

  18. I hope the EU has the political capital to force the hands of phone manufacturers. This would cause one of two situations:
    1. Phone manufacturers produce two SKUs of the same phone for different markets.
    2. Phone manufacturers produce just one SKU which is capable of being sold in the EU and abroad.

    I think #2 would be more palatable to manufacturers, as the phones would presumably have to have comparable specs and this would look bad to consumers (why are we getting a worse deal than X other market?)

    In terms of construction, it’s not like we’re going back to mid-2000s poorly fitting chunky brick phones with giant bezels and weird designs. I personally liked the style of phone with metallic bodies, held together with small bolts in the ends or sides of the phone. The law doesn’t mandate that you need the battery to be removeable on the go, just that you can do it with ie: a set of allen keys. The chassis of say, an Iphone 5 (maybe scaled up a bit in height and width) could comfortably house modern phones. I predict a rise in metal smartphones if this law comes into effect!

    Of course gaskets and seals will need to be figured out, with the best solution for consumers being that a new battery would ship with the gaskets you need to replace (and since the manufacturer needs to provide battery swap instructions anyway) the new gaskets can just be swapped over. I think if this law comes into effect, you’d see a freefall in phone progress where CPU speeds and such stayed the same for a year or so until these new form-factor restrictions have been figured out

    1. I’d still be using mine if the digitizer in the screen hadn’t died. The store plan I shared with a friend made a replacement to my current phone the S5. The phone store gave back to my friend the S4 and noted it looked bent and cracked. So they made good with a fixable unit while I lost pictures I couldn’t save and got a butt phone. I saw back then replacement digitizers online and could have fixed it and kept my data. The S5 has all the good, headphone jack, replaceable battery which I need to get a 4th, high def audio, micro SD card, great camera, etc. I,ll have to wait till we get back to good to replace my phone.

    2. I’m still using my Galaxy S4 and am on at least battery number 3, maybe 4. It is still intact due to being wrapped in a clunky OtterBox that makes concerns about phone thickness moot.

    3. I changed my current phone’s battery once, but then it turned out that the reason why the phone was getting poor battery life was an update from Google using the battery needlessly and the old battery was just fine. Now I have a spare battery that I never use.

      I’ve only ever ran a phone battery completely down once, in an old Nokia phone, and it took 9 years to do it.

  19. Be careful what yo wish for.

    My Samsung / Motorola smartphones in the 201X’s had replaceable batteries, and it wasn’t very useful. When the battery failed in 2-3 years, the only “replacements” available on the market were old-stock batteries on the shelf so long they performed poorly, or equally terrible knock-offs. After a year or so, the genuine batteries for that particular model were out of production, so the only solution to poor battery life was a new phone anyway.

    Another nuisance was when the phone was dropped, the battery cover popped off and the battery came out 80% of the time, resetting the phone. And forget any water proofing.

    The non-replaceable battery in my five year old phone (S10) is still doing fine. When travelling, I find carrying a power bank much more convenient than trying to keep a stack of charged replacements.

      1. That’s a difficult requirement to make. You can’t demand the corporations to keep producing spare parts for things they no longer make.

        They are already swapping device models every couple years to keep any one model from saturating the market, to hide its flaws: not enough owners to complain about any particular model. It also hinders third party support and repairs because every device is different. If they also change the battery interface every time, the same problem persists: once the last warranty of the last unit sold expires, they’re off the hook.

  20. A big part of the reason to seal it in is to reduce size and weight of the battery. A batter that isn’t handled, doesn’t have simple contacts, can be less shielded, and oddly shaped to fit the space. It also makes it easier to get those coveted waterproofing ratings — those rubberized seals take up space too.
    What I imagine will happen is that the back of the phone (other than the photo module) will probably be a single unit containing the battery, wireless charger, and probably a few other things like the USB connector. This will make it a more-custom but replaceable item, and reserve the profit for the primary manufacturer.

    1. I’ve only replaced 3 pouch batteries, but they’ve all had little rectangular FPC connectors. There’s no reason that couldn’t count as replaceable as long as you can access them.

  21. Finally phones again that can be completely turned off. This is a huge boost for privacy. By turning off your phone while walking through a shopping street you can prevent being tagged and tracked by dozens of shops.

  22. the main reason we have gone to ‘fixed’ batteries is so that they can sell you a whole new device every three years, even if everything but the battery is fine.

    On my last phone I used up 4 batteries before replacing it for other reasons… My latptop is now on it’s third battery (easy to change) and my tablet the 2nd (it too a fair bit of hacking to change). I even pulled my electric razor apart – and it had a 18650 in it (it now has a much better one).

    Time to get this ‘planned redundancy’ mess fixed, I’m glad the EU are going to at least try..

  23. I still use an LG G2. The battery has to be charged, and it still lasts a day.
    For those talking about phones not getting security updates, maybe it’s just
    me, but I don’t do squat on this so-called “Smart Phone”.
    There is one thing I do, and that’s use the phone as a phone and nothing more.
    After all, that’s what it’s original purpose is, is it not?
    I’m of the school of thought, if it works, why change it?
    This nonsense of “upgrading” a phone every time a new model comes out is
    wasteful, and the world already has an e-waste problem.

  24. I am often trekking or hiking for a week or more, with no access to electricity to recharge my phone, that I use for its mapping application. I used to have a couple spare batteries, much lighter than carrying around a power bank. And safer, as I knew exactly what power I had left, just counting the remaining batteries. I am grateful to the EU for this change.

  25. This is awesome news. I replaced multiple products for no other reason but a dead battery, not because the newer was better.

    Next on the list would be guaranteed software support for far longer than the 2 years of manufacturing warranty. Too many products are forcefully terminated early because of this.

    Adjusting the guarantee dynamically would be what I think is fair:
    either – your average user keeps a phone for 4 years. you must guarantee software support for 4 years.
    or – you must guarantee software support as long as at least 50% of the devices sold are still in service.

  26. Legislation is the reason we’re here. Feels like I should post a xkcd comic about creating a new standard.

    If the free market isn’t working, address that higher abstraction layer instead.

  27. Great. So my phone, that’s intentionally software unmaintainable, will have a single replaceable part.

    While I appreciate being able to physically repair things I think having the software forced to be open to update and secure might do more to prevent e-waste.

  28. You aren’t really making a case for “stupid legislation” here are you. But yes, they should mandate long-term support. Mandatory security updates for phones minimum 5 years and no intentional obsoletion of devices. Other devices, like tablets, even longer.

  29. Not sure where most of the commenters live, but I’ve bought batteries for quite a few of my devices at cheap prices, and had them shipped to me for next to nothing. Is there a different regulation for a “replaceable” battery versus a technically “built in” battery that anyone with a credit card and a desire, can replace?

    1. You cannot replace a battery on ‘desire’ alone. Not everybody is skilled enough, or even physically able, to do what is sometimes extremely convoluted.

      You act like you didn’t exist a decade ago when you could simply unclasp the battery from the back of even the fanciest smartphone, and get a new one.

      But go ahead, gaslight the people who have been documenting this issue for almost that whole previous decade, tell them they suck because they aren’t you, and cannot willpower electronics into shape!

      1. You are both partisan rather than in this together. Rsm61, Yes, some people can follow YouTube instructions, open their phone, replace the battery, and replace whatever they broke getting in there (back glass panel for example). The EU regulation addresses this hassle, as I’m sure clever Engineers will solve this battery replacement issue and still keep most of the “slim” in the phone.

        Don_Harvey sounds frustrated almost accusatory that someone has skill. There are many who don’t have the knack, but have money to pay someone else to do it (plenty of mobile clinics around). Or may rise to the challenge to learn instead of reaching for the bottom. Still, Dong is right that some phones are so glued or integrated that the OLED screen is damaged in the process which is death.

        The phone manufacturers have a good thing going with built in obsolescence, with most of us along for the ride, unable to break the cycle without regulatory help.

  30. And let’s not forget that smoke alarms with replaceable batteries required that someone had to actually touch the device to do that. And, maybe tested it, and, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations vacuumed it out or blew compressed air into it to remove dust, spiders, etc. With the new “improved” 10-year sealed batteries of recent years some may think that after installation it’s SET IT AND FORGET IT. Smoke alarms MUST be tested and maintained – your life and the lives of your family members depends on it.

  31. So how thick will my next iPhone have to be to have removable standard sized batteries ?
    And will it be splash/waterproof ?
    And how much more will it cost ?

    I look after my iPhones and iPads and have never replaced the batteries.
    My wife still uses her iPhone 6S Plus which is now over 6 years old and is not looking to replace it yet.
    My iPhone XS Max is now over 4 years old, again without problems and not looking to replace it yet.
    Her iPad Mini (cellular) is now over 8 years old, used daily for long facetime calls overseas, and reading books. Again still working fine and replacement not on the horizon.
    My iPad is now 3-4 years old and no problems either with lots of use daily. Replacement unlikely any time soon.

    Having said this, I have replaced iPhone and iPad batteries for others. Not easy but absolutely doable for some. Otherwise, take it to a store that can replace it.

    Do you change your watch batteries or do you take it to a jewelry store ?

    And while I am at it, mandating USB-C is also a stupid requirement. Apple have had their Lightening connector for so many years I’ve forgotten when it was released. I have the power plugs with cables spread around the house where needed. We can charge our iPhones and iPads at any of these locations, plus in the car.
    How many of these will have to be trashed if forced by the EU ???
    The micro-USB recommended for phones lasted less time than the iPhone/iPad lightening connector.
    How long will the USB-C last ???

    Dictating design requirements will only stifle innovation. Governments need to keep out of this except when there is a real safety aspect !!!

    Just my 2c

    1. Would a removable-battery iPhone be thin and waterproof? Hard to say.

      But other manufacturers know how to make thin, waterproof phones with removable batteries, so if Apple can’t figure it out to your satisfaction, you can just switch brands.

  32. “It also makes it easier to waterproof a product, a feature that has been a particularly difficult design challenge on the smartphone market.” – Oh yeah. Actually ALL the phone manufacturers who claim IP68 protection are lying and should be fined heavily for their reckless lie.

  33. Whoa! Thank you for the excellent use of the Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons, the Free/Libre media repository of Wikipedia!

    (I have just to report a minor typo: “CC-BA-2.0” is “CC-BY-2.0”.)

  34. The government shouldn’t have a say in the engineer’s design, if it’s not hurting anybody. If you want an electric tooth brush with a replaceable battery, make one. If you want a phone with a replaceable battery, buy a Pine Phone instead of an iPhone. Easy, vote with your wallet, don’t take the choice away from others.

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