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EU may enforce manufacturers to introduce smartphone with removeable batteries

After making it mandatory for all smartphones to come with a USB Type-C port, the European Union is reported to be contemplating introducing a new law that would similarly force manufacturers to come up with phones that have user replaceable batteries. The EU is citing greater user convenience as the real motive behind the move claiming that users can always fall back on a spare battery when the primary battery runs out of juice. Users will just have to swap the depleted battery with a charged unit and they will be good to go.

However, the above is still being discussed and the pros and cons are evaluated. The point to note here is that smartphones years back came with removable back covers, giving users access to the battery that could be swapped out. However, manufacturers soon adopted a different design where the back panel would be fixed with the smartphone chassis, which means the battery would remain out of bounds to the users. Any issues that might arise with the battery would require taking the phone to the service center or shipping it back to the manufacturer for necessary repairs.

Manufacturers further claimed opting for a fixed rear panel ensured a slimmer build for the smartphone, thereby making it lighter and more handy to carry and operate. A fixed rear panel also ensured a more robust build, one that made it easier to incorporate water and dustproof features as well. While most Android phones had removable back covers back in the day, almost all of them now come with fixed real panels, making the battery inaccessible to the users. The Apple iPhone though always came with fixed rear panels.

However, while the EU has been successful in implementing a common charging port on all smartphones to be sold in the regions starting Dec. 2024, any move to introduce removable rear panels is expected to be met with stiff resistance. While it was Apple alone fighting the common charging port legislation, it would be the entire smartphone industry that the EU will have to convince this time to bring back the removable battery feature.

While the benefit here is that users can swap a fully charged battery to replace one that has drained out, the overall battery size will likely go down if the swappable battery is brought back. The smartphone also won’t likely be as robust as they currently are. Further, companies have collectively introduced faster charging technologies of late while the overall battery size too has gone up in recent times. All of the resources invested in developing faster charging technology would go down to waste.

As such, it remains to be seen if the EU is able to force manufacturers to come up with smartphones that have user replaceable batteries in the future.