EU is rapidly continuing its sanctions against smartphone companies. It will first force smartphone manufacturers to open their devices to third-party app stores from January 2024, then make USB Type-C for all devices from late 2024. And then, this topic is very important. A tentative agreement is being worked on that would require devices to have user-replaceable batteries. So get ready to go back to the easy-to-plug batteries we’re used to!
New EU Contract Could Bring Back User-Replaceable Batteries
Last Friday, the EU Parliament reached an interim agreement to overhaul EU rules on batteries and take into account technological developments and future challenges. Agreed rules will cover the entire battery life from design to end-of-life and will apply to all battery types sold in the EU: portable batteries, SLI batteries (which provide power for starting, lighting or igniting vehicles), light transportation vehicle (LMT) batteries (electric scooters). and traction power to wheeled vehicles such as bicycles), electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and industrial batteries.
As a result, it will be easier to remove and replace batteries in many devices, not just smartphones. Consumers will be better informed about this issue. 3.5 years after the legislation takes effect, portable batteries in devices must be designed so that consumers can easily remove and install them. Here is a big problem waiting for smartphone companies.
Smartphone designs, which have developed quite a lot in recent years, will face great difficulties in the face of this decision. Producing a device that can be opened and a battery replaceable (moreover, IP68 and other certifications are a problem) requires a serious process. Moreover, imagine if this requirement is mandatory for foldable phones; probably foldable phones are almost gone from the smartphone market because it’s impossible.
In short, it will be necessary to go back to 10 years ago when it comes to batteries. Of course, we will see how companies offer solutions in this regard in the coming days. You can find the EU meeting minutes here. As a result, the contract has not been confirmed yet, we will continue to inform you about the developments. Stay tuned for more.