The battery should be “easily” replaced by consumers, per proposed European law

After mandatory USB-C ports, third-party app stores, access to the iPhone’s NFC chip, and more, Apple may face yet another European legal requirement – related to battery replacement.

A proposed new law would require electronics companies like Apple to ensure consumers can “easily” remove and replace batteries themselves…

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Apple has already faced a number of European legal requirements, which have affected the way it designs its products and manages its services.

One recent example is the mandatory use of USB-C ports for wired charging by 2024, in order to reduce electrical waste by allowing the same chargers to be used for all small consumer electronics. This takes effect in 2024, and Apple is expected to comply a year ahead of schedule by swapping the Lightning port on iPhones for USB-C starting with the iPhone 15. iPads and MacBooks can already be charged with USB-C (although of that) current MacBooks Also introduces a new MagSafe option).

Other examples include accessing the iPhone’s NFC chip by third-party banking apps and third-party app stores.

Proposed battery replacement code

Another law of the European Union was spotted PocketNow It is to require electronic equipment manufacturers to allow consumers to “easily” replace a DIY battery. However, companies will get plenty of notice, as the requirement will not go into effect until 3.5 years after the legislation takes effect.

Three and a half years after the legislation went into effect, portable batteries in devices must be designed so that consumers can easily remove them and replace them themselves.

Companies will also be legally required to accept and recycle old batteries.

All waste LMT, EV, SLI and industrial batteries must be collected free of charge for end users, regardless of their nature, chemical composition, condition, brand or origin

As with the Charger Code, the goal is to reduce electrical waste.

To better inform consumers, batteries will carry labels and QR codes containing information regarding their capacity, performance, durability, and chemical composition as well as a “separate assembly” symbol. […]

According to the agreement, all economic operators that place batteries in the EU market, with the exception of small and medium enterprises, will be required to develop and implement a so-called “due diligence policy”, in line with international standards, to address the social and environmental risks associated with the supply, processing and trading of raw materials and secondary raw materials. .

Specific targets for collection and recycling are expected to be set.

  • Assembly targets are set at 45% by 2023, 63% by 2027 and 73% by 2030 for portable batteries, and 51% by 2028 and 61% by 2031 for LMT batteries.
  • Minimum levels of recovered cobalt (16%), lead (85%), lithium (6%) and nickel (6%) from manufacturing and consumer waste must be reused in new batteries

In addition, the European Commission – which proposes laws to the European Parliament – is expected to consider banning the use of portable, non-rechargeable batteries. This more drastic move will undoubtedly come with many exceptions, and there is no plan to even fully consider this possibility before the end of the decade.

Apple will likely cite a self-service repair program

If the law is passed, Apple will likely argue that its self-service repair program will meet the requirements.

The company would need to expand the program to all 27 countries of the European Union, in addition to its full suite of products, but Apple is already working on geographic expansions and product range expansions. Given the timeframe, full compliance would seem possible – assuming the software passes the ‘ease’ requirement.

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