Earlier this week, the Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad published a scoop (via Business Insider) that sent ripples through the tech industry: the European Union is drafting legislation that would legally require tech companies to make products with batteries that users could easily replace on their own. advertisement advertisement According to the leaked legislation, vendors who make smartphones, tablets, and wireless earphones will need to redesign those products to make all batteries user-removable and replaceable. The legislation is supposed to be announced to the public next month in order to hear from stakeholders, and it follows a recent EU impact assessment arguing that all smartphones must have a common charging standard (for example, USB-C). If passed, the legislation would require everyone from Apple to Samsung to fundamentally redesign all the phones they currently make–not to mention tablets and wireless earbuds like the AirPods. (While there were once plenty of smartphones with removable batteries, 2007’s original iPhone began a trend toward sealed batteries that eventually led to removable-battery designers becoming neatly extinct.) Both initiatives are aimed at reducing e-waste, but while a common charging standard makes more sense from a technical and design perspective, mandating all devices have user-replaceable batteries is… Read full this story
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