EU might force Apple to offer removable batteries in iPhones


changing battery on iPhone X
Someone in the EU thinks its a good idea to force companies to design smartphones with easy-to-remove batteries.
Photo: iFixit

Imagine easily swapping out the battery of your iPhone as you would a smoke detector.

The European Union may consider adopting a law that would regulate the design of all smartphones sold in the 27 member nations to provide consumers with easy access to the battery.

Whether the idea – and that’s all it is at this point – is headed to a vote is unclear. No such proposal is public. A Dutch news organization claims it received look-only access to a document explaining removable battery requirements, news site TechRadar reported.

Apple already is mounting a campaign against another EU proposal requiring manufacturers to work with a standard charging connector.

Apple is very particular about who is allowed to open its phones and poke around at the innards.

The company wants its customers to use Apple-certified technicians, such as those behind the Apple Store genius bar. It also has vigorously lobbied against states in the U.S. that are considering right-to-repair legislation, which would make Apple parts more accessible to independent repairs techs.

Like the charging port proposal, Apple will likely argue that forcing a standard design feature for battery access will impede innovation.

The ability to easily open up the phone to change batteries on its face sounds consumer-friendly. But, as 9To5Mac wrote, requiring an easy-opening back would compromise the advances made in smartphone dust and waterproofing.

What is, for now, an unconfirmed report is supposed to be unveiled in mid-March. Should such a proposal be voted into law, it could take many years to implement, TechRadar noted.