EU law requiring easier iPhone battery replacement inches closer to enactment

Posted:
in iPhone

The European Union is moving closer to enacting a law that will not just require smartphones like the iPhone to have easier battery repairs, but it will also mandate how much of a battery must be reclaimable after recycling.

The EU wants to improve the sustainability, durability, and performance of batteries
The EU wants to improve the sustainability, durability, and performance of batteries



By a vote of 587 in favor, nine against, and 20 abstentions, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have approved an agreement made with the Council to revamp European Union regulations about batteries and waste. The legislation represents the most recent endeavor within the "Right to Repair" movement, compelling companies to manufacture their products to make it easy for do-it-yourself repairs.

Some of the important parts of the legislation include:


  • A compulsory carbon footprint declaration and label for certain types of batteries.

  • Designing portable batteries in appliances so consumers can easily remove and replace them.

  • A digital battery passport for certain types of batteries.

  • A due diligence policy for all economic operators, except for SMEs.

  • Stricter waste collection targets for portable and LMT batteries.

  • Minimum levels of materials recovered from waste batteries.

  • Minimum levels of recycled content from manufacturing and consumer waste for use in new batteries.



Certain provisions will probably become effective later in 2023, while others will be implemented at a later date. For example, it has a goal of 45% of more strict waste collection targets for portable batteries by 2023.

Looking ahead, the EU aims to achieve a minimum recycling threshold of 95% for materials derived from waste batteries by the year 2031.

In December 2020, the European Commission introduced a regulation proposal concerning batteries and waste batteries. The primary objective is to reduce the environmental and social consequences across all phases of the battery life cycle.

After the conclusive vote in plenary, the Council will now need to officially endorse the rules. Then, they will be published in the EU Official Journal in the near future and will come into effect.

Companies such as Apple, which sells battery-powered products within the EU, are expected to be impacted by these regulations. However, Apple and other companies will likely fight the implementation of these rules.

At present, Apple has established an official Self Repair Program, offering individuals access to parts and tools necessary for repairing their devices, including battery replacements.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,215member
    From the article and EU press release:

    "Designing portable batteries in appliances so consumers can easily remove and replace them"

    The earlier drafts mentioned design so that qualified personnel could readily change a battery without needing special tools and damaging the device or battery. 

    It will be worth keeping an eye on the final text, which for me, isn't loading at the moment. 


    appleinsideruserroundaboutnowmuthuk_vanalingamAlex1N
  • Reply 2 of 46
    omasouomasou Posts: 507member
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    First the plug thing now this...it won't be long before we're back to using big clunky products.
    williamlondondesignrapplebynaturewatto_cobradanox
  • Reply 3 of 46
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,215member
    omasou said:
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    First the plug thing now this...it won't be long before we're back to using big clunky products.
    This is an update to the batteries directive. It's not something new. 

    It's an attempt to bring the legislation into line with current EU goals with right to repair, consumer protection and information. 

    There is quite literally a lot to like. 
    sphericchasmnubusfred1muthuk_vanalingammariowincoAlex1Ngrandact73
  • Reply 4 of 46
    ktappektappe Posts: 816member
    omasou said:
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    If Apple had been reasonable, none of this would be happening. Apple should have put USB-C in the iPhone years ago.

    Also, if you recall, previous iPhone models could be easily opened by removing two Philips #00 screws on either side of the charging port. Since then Apple has been making its phones harder and harder to open. First they changed those screws to Pentalobe. Then they removed the screws altogether. Then they started gluing the battery in. Then they started serializing the components. It's not only a pain for users to repair, it's a pain for Apple employees to repair.

    Would you buy a car for which you needed special equipment just to pop the hood? And then once you got it open, any part you replaced made the car refuse to run anymore? If not, why are we putting up with phones that have purposely been made like this?
    elijahgMplsPsphericnubusfred1williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingammariowincoAlex1Ngrandact73
  • Reply 5 of 46
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,208member
    ktappe said:
    omasou said:
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    If Apple had been reasonable, none of this would be happening. Apple should have put USB-C in the iPhone years ago.

    Also, if you recall, previous iPhone models could be easily opened by removing two Philips #00 screws on either side of the charging port. Since then Apple has been making its phones harder and harder to open. First they changed those screws to Pentalobe. Then they removed the screws altogether. Then they started gluing the battery in. Then they started serializing the components. It's not only a pain for users to repair, it's a pain for Apple employees to repair.

    Would you buy a car for which you needed special equipment just to pop the hood? And then once you got it open, any part you replaced made the car refuse to run anymore? If not, why are we putting up with phones that have purposely been made like this?
    I understand all your points, but why should the consumer care if it’s hard to fix or open? They don’t have to fix it, Apple or some other tech does. 
    designrwilliamlondonwatto_cobrarob53tmayAlex1Nomasou
  • Reply 6 of 46
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,060member
    hexclock said:
    I understand all your points, but why should the consumer care if it’s hard to fix or open? They don’t have to fix it, Apple or some other tech does. 
    This is a fair question, but the answer is … from the article … to reduce waste and increase reclaimation, which is ultimately better for the battery industry, for battery consumers, and for the Earth.
    nubuswilliamlondonAlex_Vmuthuk_vanalingamAlex1N
  • Reply 7 of 46
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,071member
    Q1: who gets to decide what is a sufficiently replaceable battery?
    Q2: is the manufacturer able to identify the proportion of the increased cost for the device as the EU cost?
    Q3: does this also apply to EVs? (exactly this scenario ktappe).
    edited June 16 roundaboutnowwilliamlondonwatto_cobraAlex1Nomasou
  • Reply 8 of 46
    entropys said:
    Q1: who gets to decide what is a sufficiently replaceable battery?
    Q2: is the manufacturer able to identify the proportion of the increased cost for the device as the EU cost?
    Q3: does this also apply to EVs? (exactly this scenario ktappe).
    All excellent questions.
    williamlondonwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 9 of 46
    webraiderwebraider Posts: 163member
    hexclock said:
    I understand all your points, but why should the consumer care if it’s hard to fix or open? They don’t have to fix it, Apple or some other tech does. 
    I remember being able to change my Palm Tree's battery when it wore out.  I defiantly care about this.  This and the ability to send a text message "Later" when you don't have reception is something that's beyond me as to why Apple has implemented yet.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Batteries should state the manufacture date.  My wife got a new 15” Macbook Air 2023 and found the battery inside was over ten years old. It’s shown on the coconut battery app. Do you know the manufacture date of the battery in your iPhone? 
    williamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 11 of 46
    Alex_VAlex_V Posts: 196member
    Batteries should state the manufacture date.  My wife got a new 15” Macbook Air 2023 and found the battery inside was over ten years old. It’s shown on the coconut battery app. Do you know the manufacture date of the battery in your iPhone? 
    Really? Is that possible? I find it hard to believe, for multiple reasons… 
    williamlondon80s_Apple_Guymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 46
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,966member
    ktappe said:
    omasou said:
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    If Apple had been reasonable, none of this would be happening. Apple should have put USB-C in the iPhone years ago.

    Also, if you recall, previous iPhone models could be easily opened by removing two Philips #00 screws on either side of the charging port. Since then Apple has been making its phones harder and harder to open. First they changed those screws to Pentalobe. Then they removed the screws altogether. Then they started gluing the battery in. Then they started serializing the components. It's not only a pain for users to repair, it's a pain for Apple employees to repair.

    Would you buy a car for which you needed special equipment just to pop the hood? And then once you got it open, any part you replaced made the car refuse to run anymore? If not, why are we putting up with phones that have purposely been made like this?
    That is a poor analogy. But a good case of a logical fallacy.

    For one, a hood of a car have to be easy to open because the owners and any maintenance persons must open the hood of a car, hundreds of times, in the life of the car. That is not the case with modern electronic devices. The average owner only needs to open their electronic device to change the battery, once every 2 to 3 years and maybe longer. That's only if they keep their device that long. 

    Cars are designed with many user replaceable parts (under the hood) that are meant to be replaced under normal wear or under regular maintenance. Cars also have parts under the hood that only the dealer and properly train mechanics using specialized tools can replace. And cars also have parts under the hood that are not meant to be user replaceable because they are meant to last the lifetime of the car (under normal wear.).

    Modern electronic devices are designed with parts that are meant to last the life of the device. And even the batteries are designed to only need replacing just once for the original owner and maybe twice for the life of the device. My 17 year old iPod 5th is on it's second battery (the original one lasted over 6 years) and still have over 10hrs of use per charge. Granted I'm not using it nearly as much now, as i was in the first 6 years. But never the less, I only needed to open it up just once in 17 years. My wife iPhone 7 was given to her by my brother 3 years ago, who bought it brand new in 2016. I opened it up and replaced the battery in it 2 years ago. (Maybe 30 minutes work. Would have been a lot less if i had lot smaller hands. But for once, pulling the tab to pull back and remove the double sided tape gluing down the battery, actually worked.)  So in 7 years, that iPhone 7 just needed to be open once and it will become obsolete by the time it needs another battery. And if anything else goes bad, it's off to the recycle bin as it's no longer worth the cost of repairing. Even if it only requires the removal of 2 screws to open up and I can do it myself.  

    No one buys a modern electronic mobile device wondering how easy it would to open, so in case they need to replace the logic board or camera lens or WiFi antennae or power button or charging board or to look for a blown SMD fuse, etc.. There is no required regular maintenance that requires the opening up of the device. Most consumers  don't even care how easy it would be open to replace the battery or screen, as it's beyond most average consumers ability and desire, to do so. Even if it were only to require the removal of 2 philips screws.

    I know many friend's wives (not to be sexist) that don't know how to open the hood of their car because they never had any reasons or desire to. Even after driving their cars for years, not one of them would know where the safety latch is located or know why every car (that i know of) have a safety latch still holding down the hood, after popping it open using the inside lever.        
    stompytmaywilliamlondondanoxAlex1N
  • Reply 13 of 46
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,966member
    Batteries should state the manufacture date.  My wife got a new 15” Macbook Air 2023 and found the battery inside was over ten years old. It’s shown on the coconut battery app. Do you know the manufacture date of the battery in your iPhone? 
    AFAIK, the Coconut Battery app do not read any info directly off the battery. The app reads the data that the MacOS collect under "System Report"- Battery.  There you will find the info of your battery and it's health. If the battery manufacture date is not listed there, then Coconut Battery app can not know the date and any date it list is not accurate. 
    stompywilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamAlex1N
  • Reply 14 of 46
    timmilleatimmillea Posts: 230member
    This is stereotypical EU over-reach. The European Economic Community was formed to maintain friendly relations (i.e peace) and facilitate trade between European countries after WW2. Now they are legislating on everything from bananas to buttons and wanting to create a unified European military force.  

    The correct route would be to form an ISO standard for mobile phones, including battery replacement, charging etc.,  and let the manufacturer choose whether or not to comply. 

    The EU is increasingly behaving like a dictator to the World - the opposite of what it was created for. 
    edited June 17 rob53williamlondondanox
  • Reply 15 of 46
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    ktappe said:
    omasou said:
    So happy the EU is getting so involved in technology design /s

    If Apple had been reasonable, none of this would be happening. Apple should have put USB-C in the iPhone years ago.

    Also, if you recall, previous iPhone models could be easily opened by removing two Philips #00 screws on either side of the charging port. Since then Apple has been making its phones harder and harder to open. First they changed those screws to Pentalobe. Then they removed the screws altogether. Then they started gluing the battery in. Then they started serializing the components. It's not only a pain for users to repair, it's a pain for Apple employees to repair.

    Would you buy a car for which you needed special equipment just to pop the hood? And then once you got it open, any part you replaced made the car refuse to run anymore? If not, why are we putting up with phones that have purposely been made like this?
    What iPhone do you have that doesn't have screws on the side of the charging port?
    zimmie
  • Reply 16 of 46
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    timmillea said:
    This is stereotypical EU over-reach. The European Economic Community was formed to maintain friendly relations (i.e peace) and facilitate trade between European countries after WW2. Now they are legislating on everything from bananas to buttons and wanting to create a unified European military force.  

    The correct route would be to form an ISO standard for mobile phones, including battery replacement, charging etc.,  and let the manufacturer choose whether or not to comply. 

    The EU is increasingly behaving like a dictator to the World - the opposite of what it was created for. 
    The EU doesn't dictate anything to the world.  Apple are free to sell different iPhones with whatever kind of sealed in batteries they prefer to the rest of the world.
    williamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 17 of 46
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 416member
    Mostly typical anti-EU answers.

    I know, I know: we are late, we are retarded, ... and all that stuff that will hinder us Europeans to be as amazing as Caucasian Americans living North of Mexico and South of Canada.

    That's OK.

    In the meantime, we'll have USB-C and replaceable batteries in the iPhone soon enough
    williamlondonmariowincoAlex1N
  • Reply 18 of 46
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,190member
    Does the EU design and manufacture any cellular devices (that anyone actually buys)? Tough talk telling non EU members how to do things. Since when does any EU member country have the expertise to even decide these things? 
    williamlondon80s_Apple_Guy
  • Reply 19 of 46
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,966member
    chutzpah said:
    timmillea said:
    This is stereotypical EU over-reach. The European Economic Community was formed to maintain friendly relations (i.e peace) and facilitate trade between European countries after WW2. Now they are legislating on everything from bananas to buttons and wanting to create a unified European military force.  

    The correct route would be to form an ISO standard for mobile phones, including battery replacement, charging etc.,  and let the manufacturer choose whether or not to comply. 

    The EU is increasingly behaving like a dictator to the World - the opposite of what it was created for. 
    The EU doesn't dictate anything to the world.  Apple are free to sell different iPhones with whatever kind of sealed in batteries they prefer to the rest of the world.
    Are you familiar with the "Brussel Effect"? 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_effect

    Don't be so sure that the EU don't want to dictate anything to the World. Or that they are only concern about making laws and regulations for the good of the EU. 

    The phrase was coined by law professor Anu Bradford in 2012. Here's the article she penned in 2012 while a law professor at Columbia Law School. It's a long read but just skimming over the each topic will give you a good idea what she is referring to with the "Brussels Effect'. 

    https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1081&context=nulr&httpsredir=1&referer=

    She later came out with a book in 2020, titled  ..... "The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anu_Bradford

    But to fair, the phrase was a take off of "The California Effect", that was coined in the mid 90's to describe how the State of California was able to forced companies to apply CA much stricter environmental policies through out the US because they did not what to make products with different standards for different States and they could not ignore CA large market power.  And is still happening today.  

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_effect

    https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/livestock/article/2021/04/12/california-law-control-production

    https://ktla.com/news/local-news/skittles-ban-passes-in-the-california-state-assembly/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/02/us/gavin-newsom-california-effect.html

    If the all the US was the World, CA would be the EU. 


    edited June 17 williamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 20 of 46
    BlizzardBlizzard Posts: 27member
    hexclock said:
    I understand all your points, but why should the consumer care if it’s hard to fix or open? They don’t have to fix it, Apple or some other tech does. 
    Because it generally translates to higher costs to repair, it also generally results in more e-waste by fact that the entire unit is more likely to just simply be replaced instead of replacing the individual broken item.  This is honestly an embarrasing question for you to even ask.
    edited June 17 williamlondon
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