The European Union wants smartphone manufacturers to design phones with replaceable batteries in mind, a leaked report has revealed.
The proposal appears to be part of a larger movement in the EU to make the smartphone market more sustainable.
FD says the EU is currently adding finishing touches to the proposal, which will include ideas on how to enforce wider product recycling, re-use of raw materials and more sustainable production.
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The proposal is due to be presented by Executive VP for the European Green Deal at the European Commission Frans Timmermans in mid-March.
The idea is to encourage users to replace their phone batteries, rather than splashing out on new devices as soon as their current battery becomes faulty.
By only paying for the cost of a new battery, consumers would save money by cutting out the visit to a specialist or the cost of a new phone entirely.
The hope is that, by making battery replacements more accessible, users will choose to fix their phones rather than to upgrade. This could slow down the creation of electronic waste and promote recycling and better sustainability in the mobile industry.
While replacing your battery at home once was commonplace – and didn’t end in you voiding your warranty – it seems unlikely that many phone companies will be happy with this proposal.
Making the battery replaceable could involve making phones a bit chunkier or introducing new openings that could compromise how waterproof that device is, making that phone less attractive to consumers.
Apple, in particular, has fought against EU advice over the years.
Just last month, the company described Europe’s call to replace Lightning cables with one universal charger as “bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers“.
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While both proposals aim to promote sustainability in the mobile industry, we’ll have to wait and see whether the EU can convince major phone companies to follow.