Reviving Replaceable Batteries: How the EU’s New Law Impacts Consumer Devices

In recent years, the trend of non-replaceable batteries in smartphones and other consumer devices has become the norm. However, a sweeping new law passed by the European Parliament is set to change this. The law mandates that all consumer devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops, must have easily replaceable batteries. This move aims to promote a circular economy for batteries and reduce electronic waste. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of this law and its potential impact on the industry.

The Need for Replaceable Batteries:

In the early to mid-2010s, many Android phones featured replaceable batteries. Carrying a spare battery was a common practice back then. However, as the industry shifted towards sleeker designs using glass, glue, and metals, replaceable batteries became less feasible. This new law seeks to reintroduce easily replaceable batteries, ensuring that consumers can easily replace their batteries without the need for special tools.

Challenges for Manufacturers:

The law’s requirement for easily replaceable batteries poses significant challenges for manufacturers. Most smartphones today are designed as glass sandwiches, relying heavily on adhesives. This design will need to be reimagined to comply with the law. Manufacturers like Apple, Google, and Samsung will be particularly affected, as they will need to find new ways to build their phones without relying on adhesives.

Impact on Foldable Phones:

Foldable phones, which are gaining popularity, will face a significant challenge in complying with the law. The flexible nature of these devices makes it difficult to incorporate easily replaceable batteries. Manufacturers will need to innovate and find solutions to meet the law’s requirements without compromising the functionality and design of foldable phones.

Global Implications:

While the law is specific to the European Union, its impact will likely extend beyond its borders. Manufacturers are unlikely to design separate devices for the EU market, as it would be costly. Therefore, the law’s requirements will likely influence the design of consumer devices worldwide. This means that consumers outside the EU may also benefit from easily replaceable batteries in their devices.

Environmental Considerations:

The primary motivation behind this law is to protect the environment. By promoting a circular economy for batteries, the law aims to reduce electronic waste. Currently, when a device’s battery deteriorates, consumers often opt to buy a new device rather than repair it. This leads to significant electronic waste generation. The law’s provisions for battery collection, lithium recovery, and recycling efficiency targets aim to minimize waste and maximize the reuse of battery materials.

Right-to-Repair Movement:

The law aligns with the principles of the right-to-repair movement, which advocates for easily repairable consumer goods. The movement aims to counter the trend of complex and integrated components that discourage repair. Companies like Apple, known for their restrictive repair policies, will need to adapt to the law’s requirements. The law’s provisions may empower consumers and third-party repair technicians to repair devices more easily, reducing the need for costly replacements.


The European Parliament’s new law mandating easily replaceable batteries in consumer devices marks a significant shift in the industry. While it poses challenges for manufacturers, it also presents an opportunity to promote a circular economy for batteries and reduce electronic waste. The law’s impact may extend beyond the EU, influencing the design of devices worldwide. As the law comes into effect in 2027, we can expect to see changes in the way smartphones, tablets, and laptops are designed and repaired. Ultimately, this law represents a step towards more sustainable and consumer-friendly practices in the electronics industry.

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