The European Union (EU) is set to usher in a new era of smartphones with batteries that consumers can easily replace themselves.
Earlier this week, the European Parliament approved new rules covering the design, production, and recycling of all rechargeable batteries sold within the EU.[…]
For “portable batteries” used in devices such as smartphones, tablets, and cameras, consumers must be able to “easily remove and replace them.” This will require a drastic design rethink by manufacturers, as most phone and tablet makers currently seal the battery away and require specialist tools and knowledge to access and replace them safely.
This should’ve been mandated more than a decade ago, but better late than never. Faulty batteries is one of the primary reasons people eventually upgrade, even when their device is otherwise still perfectly functional. Device owners should be able to easily open their device and replace the battery, and of course, said batteries should not be hindered by patents, trademarks, or any other artificial monopolies – anybody should be able to produce them.
The battery in my 2018 Dell XPS 13 9370 bulged a few years ago, but since the laptop is easily opened, it took me about 5 minutes to replace the faulty battery with a brand new one, and it only cost me about €100 – on a laptop that originally cost about €2200, I think that’s an amazing deal to keep the machine going. It’s otherwise in tip-top shape, and its 8th Gen i7, 16GB of RAM and 4K display can easily last me another ten years, especially since, as a Linux user, I won’t have to worry about my operating system killing off support.
Smartphones should be the same.