Europe will require all phones to have user replaceable batteries by 2027

The regulation aims to extend the lifespan of gadgets and improve sustainability

Europe will require all phones to have user replaceable batteries by 2027

The European Union will require all phones, handheld consoles, and similar devices to have user replaceable batteries by 2027.

The ruling comes as part of a larger set of regulations aimed to improve sustainability. The EU claims that the move will extend the lifespan of gadgets and cut back on electronic waste, as users will be able to easily replace any faulty or degraded batteries themselves as opposed to purchasing new devices or paying for repairs.

What does this mean for phones?

The ruling specifies that in order to meet the regulations, users should be able to remove batteries “with the use of commercially available tools and without requiring the use of specialised tools, unless they are provided free of charge, or proprietary tools, thermal energy, or solvents to disassemble it.”

The ruling would therefore require manufacturers to reevaluate the design of their phones - for example, this could be seen as a setback for Samsung’s Flip series, or even force manufacturers to reevaluate the design of waterproof phones, as compliance with the regulations could compromise current, more water-tight designs.

While the regulations only require replaceable batteries within the European Union, it’s important to consider the potential cost of developing two versions of the same device, as well as the growing push towards sustainability worldwide.

The EU represents billions of dollars of revenue and, quite possibly, hundreds of millions of mobile devices in active use. As such, it’s likely that phone manufacturers that conduct business in the UK, such as Google and Apple, may therefore roll these changes out globally.

The regulation also aims to address sustainability concerns regarding other forms of battery powered devices, such as electric vehicles and industrial products. Among the rulings are guidelines on the amount of certain components, such as lithium and cobalt, that a battery should have, as well as targets for recovering lithium from waste batteries.

"Batteries are key to the decarbonisation process and the EU's shift towards zero-emission modes of transport. At the same time end-of-life batteries contain many valuable resources and we must be able to reuse those critical raw materials instead of relying on third countries for supplies," said Spanish minister for ecological transition Teresa Ribera.

Last week, Google announced that it will allow NFTs in games and apps sold through Google Play.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.