New E.U. Battery Regulations

Matthew Humphries, PC Magazine:

Earlier this week, the European Parliament approved new rules covering the design, production, and recycling of all rechargeable batteries sold within the EU.


For “portable batteries” used in devices such as smartphones, tablets, and cameras, consumers must be able to “easily remove and replace them.” This will require a drastic design rethink by manufacturers, as most phone and tablet makers currently seal the battery away and require specialist tools and knowledge to access and replace them safely.

This is not an attempt to single out Humphries; the announcement was interpreted by many in the press as a call to redesign virtually all smartphones and add a battery access hatch. But, as Jesper writes, the actual legislation does not seem to require anything of the sort:

As far as I can tell, a phone where you unscrew the screws at the bottom, which disengages the internal frame, where you then use a suction cup to separate the seal enough to then use prying tools to disengage clips enough to flip it open and then access the insides is fully compliant. Phones described by this design have already shipped in hundreds of millions of units.

The iPhone 14 already opens from the back, though such luxuries are not present in the Pro models. My reading of this is that the biggest hurdle to meet these new regulations could be correcting for the copious amounts of adhesive Apple uses in securing the battery itself, as well as the frame and body for waterproofing.