Return of user-replaceable batteries in new phones becomes a reality. European Council approves new rules, requiring all new phones in the EU to have easily replaceable batteries.
Approved: User-replaceable batteries
The European Council has unanimously approved this new regulation, signifying its near-completion. Manufacturers must now work on incorporating (or rather reintroducing) user-replaceable batteries into their phones, with just over three years to do so. Android Authority reported on the adoption of this regulation.
By 2027, all new phones will be required to have this feature, indicating an imminent development phase. It poses a significant challenge for many manufacturers, and companies like Apple may strongly dislike this decision. After being compelled to switch to the USB-C port, they are now obligated to implement user-replaceable batteries as well.
Win or lose?
The question is whether it will be a win or a loss for users. This regulation only applies to the EU, and as known, practically no phone manufacturer designs their phones exclusively for Europe. Phones are designed to be sold everywhere, and this regulation could break that bond.
When a manufacturer calculates that developing specially tailored phones for Europe is not profitable, two things can happen. Either they start making phones with replaceable batteries for all markets, or they simply disappear from European markets. It wouldn’t be surprising if smaller manufacturers actually packed their bags and left Europe.
How will future phones change?
The most interesting thing will be to see how phones transform because of this requirement. The easiest solution is to make a removable back cover, but we predict that manufacturers won’t go back to that and will instead come up with something more interesting and sophisticated. However, it’s clear that designs relying heavily on the use of adhesives will have to undergo significant changes.