The European Union (EU) has adopted new rules that will require all smartphones sold in the bloc to have user-replaceable batteries by 2027. The new rules are part of a broader effort to reduce electronic waste and promote repairability.
Currently, most smartphones have sealed batteries that are difficult or impossible for consumers to replace. This means that when a battery starts to degrade, users have to either buy a new phone or take it to a repair shop. The new EU rules will make it easier for consumers to extend the life of their smartphones by simply replacing the battery.
The new rules will apply to all smartphones sold in the EU, regardless of where they are manufactured. This means that Apple, Samsung, and other OEMs will all have to comply with the new regulations.
The regulation sets targets for producers to collect waste portable batteries (63% by the end of 2027 and 73% by the end of 2030), and introduces a dedicated collection objective for waste batteries for light means of transport (51% by the end of 2028 and 61% by the end of 2031).
The EU has been a leader in the fight against electronic waste. In 2019, the bloc introduced new rules requiring all electronic devices to be designed to be easily disassembled. The new rules on smartphone batteries are a further step in this direction. As part of the move, Apple said it will start using 100% certified recycled cobalt for all of its batteries by 2025.
The new rules will require OEMs to design their devices so that consumers can easily remove and replace batteries by 2027. The batteries will also have to be labeled with clear instructions on how to replace them.
On the other hand, in September 2022, Apple increased battery repair cost with the iPhone 14 lineup. Battery replacement for iPhone 13 and older models cost at $69. However, iPhone 14 series are 43% more expensive, resulting in the $99 price tag.