Apple could be forced to sell iPhones with user-removable batteries in Europe

Apple could be forced to sell iPhones with user-removable batteries in Europe under new EU proposals, leaked documents reveal

The plans would require any device sold in the EU to have a removable battery Documents aren’t specific but suggest a user would need to be able to remove it The proposals also seem to put an increased emphasis on recycling batteriesIt is part of a wider move by the EU to reduce the amount of e-waste produced 

Apple could be forced to install user-removable batteries in iPhones and iPads destined for the European market if new EU rules are introduced.

The leaked draft plans have been reported on by Dutch business website Het Financieele Dagblad but have not yet been agreed by the EU or officially announced.

If introduced they would apply to any technology company that doesn’t already include a removable battery in its phones, tablets or even wireless earphones.

Apple has always used non-removable batteries in its devices, requiring users to go to a specialist repair shop if they face issues with the power supply.

Het Financieele Dagblad reports that the European Commission proposals are expected to be formally announced sometime in March.

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Apple batteries are notoriously hard to remove and require specialist training and equipment. The EU wants this to become easier with companies being required to have easily removable batteries in their devices

The plans tie into the larger European Union e-waste reduction plans that aim to reduce the amount of waste generated by non-recyclable electronic devices.

It would require a significant redesign for Apple products, which currently require an expert engineer to change the battery or make any alterations inside the device. 

The battery in the latest iPhone 11 Pro has been described as ‘moderately difficult’ to replace by Apple support website iFixit.

The site says it takes anything from 45 minutes to up to two hours to replace depending on the experience of the person making the swap.

It also requires specialist equipment including multiple types of screwdrivers and suction handles to open the case. 

This isn’t the first time Apple has come up against the EU’s desire to create uniformity in a bid to reduce electronic waste.

The European Parliament recently discussed the possibility of making smartphone makers use a common charging port, which could force Apple to adopt the USB-C.

Apple warned that replacing it with a universal charger could cost consumers up to €1.5billion and would produce an ‘unprecedented volume of electronic waste’.

The tech giant also argued the legislation, if passed, could ‘stifle innovation’.

Exact details of the proposed EU battery legislation haven’t been reported, but the leaked documents do suggest there will be a greater requirement to recycle.  

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