And yet. The European Union wants you to be able to replace the battery in your smartphone yourself
… and not only a smartphone, because the new regulations are to cover a whole lot of electrical devices, including small vehicles.
The idea of facilitating battery replacement in smartphones was discussed by MEPs as early as 2020. Originally, “facilitating” meant, among others, extending the warranty period or forcing manufacturers to provide detailed technical documentation. Now the authorities of the European Union are going a step further.
European parliament is currently working on updating the EU directive on batteries and accumulators. In December 2022, the authority reached a preliminary agreement with the Council of Europe on this matter, thanks to which the specifics are already known.
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The European Parliament wants to force the use of replaceable batteries in smartphones and other devices
‘Portable batteries in devices should be designed so that users can easily remove and replace them,’ reads the European Parliament website. What exactly does that mean?
The draft legislation from March specifies that batteries should be replaceable “easily and safely” with “basic and common tools” and without “damaging the device or battery”.
If the rules are finally approved by the Parliament and the Council, consumer electronics manufacturers will have 3.5 years to comply with them.
This is a great convenience compared to what is happening on the smartphone market today
Apple recently launched a program in Poland self-repair of devices. According to the official service manual, to replace the iPhone 13 battery you need: special repair stand, heated display pocket, glue cutter, pressure plate, display press, battery press, heater, antistatic cleaner, antistatic tweezers, 6 types of wrenches and tips, ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol wipes, heat resistant gloves, nitrile or lint-free gloves, nylon probe, safety glasses with side shields, sand, and a sand container.
It’s hard to consider such a set as “basic and common tools”. And the whole process is considered “easy and safe”, since it even requires dismantling the display. Even if replacing batteries in smartphones on your own will not be as easy as it was years ago, it will certainly be much easier than it is today.
The European Parliament argues that the new rules are being prepared for “environmental, ethical and social” reasons. The entire Battery Directive addresses issues related to the entire product life cycle – from design, through use, to recycling. Politicians refer to reports according to which the global demand for batteries will increase 14 times by 2030.
Miron Nurski, managing editor of Komórkomania
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