All new iPhones might be forced to have a removable battery

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Are you constantly annoyed that your smartphone battery dies before the rest of the phone? Angry about the wastage that creates? Well, leaked EU proposals could force smartphone manufacturers to to make all batteries removable.

That would mean that all brands wanting to sell in the EU would have to make sure each phone has a battery that can be removed by the user - and that even would include Apple, the company most resistant to legislation around its iPhone designs, if attempts to make it change ports in the past is anything to go by.

The idea behind the change towards removable batteries is to make sure that users can more easily change one of the speediest-wearing parts of the phone without needing to take it to a specialist - thus reducing the amount of electronics wastage dead batteries can incite.

However, this proposal is a long way from being confirmed - it's currently not even out in the public, as it was leaked by Dutch publication Het Financieele Dagblad, claiming to have seen leaked documents of the impending suggested change.

The halcyon days of yore, where users could not only simply pop off the back cover and throw in another power pack but could also increase the capacity, don't seem to be coming back though.

There would be no desire from Apple or Samsung to forgo the slimmer designs or water-resistant capabilities that the current all-in-one chassis allows, so another option would have to be found.

The rumor suggests that the new proposal will be unveiled in mid-March, which makes it impossible for any phone designed this year to incorporate a removable battery. In fact, given the slow speed with which this legislation can take to come in, it's unlikely we'll even see it in the Galaxy S21 or iPhone 13 in 2021.

Can the EU force this change?

Well, no - it can only legislate over smartphones distributed within its territories - but every smartphone brand isn't going to be willing to give up the customer bases that the likes of Germany, France and Italy offer.

Like the recent change to a single charging port on all smartphones - meaning Apple is likely to adopt the USB-C standard soon - the EU does wield massive power when it comes to the way phones should be designed, especially if there are environmental concerns attached.

The leaked proposals also suggest that more should be done to recycle electronics and make sure that we're not throwing things into landfill that can be re-used and the raw materials recycled.

Even if this proposal does get unveiled, it'll be much longer before this comes through - and that's assuming that the smartphone manufacturers don't fight back for their right to design phones however they please.

Via XDA Developers

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.