New EU directive to mandate replaceable batteries in Apple iPhone, iPods, MacBook Air?

“The European Union is preparing new directives that could have an impact on Apple’s future products, including ‘the New Batteries Directive,’ which proposes to mandate that batteries in electronic appliances be ‘readily removed’ for replacement or disposal,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

“While the Battery Directive now in force states that it must be easy for consumers to remove batteries from electronic products, the ‘New Batteries Directive’ now being drafted over the next year goes even further to state that electrical equipment must be designed to allow that batteries be ‘readily removed’ for replacement or removal at the end of product’s life,” McLean reports. “Gary Nevison, writing for New Electronics, said ‘the requirement is clearly intended to ensure that users can remove batteries by opening a cover by hand or after removal of one or two screws. The producer will also have to provide the user with details on how to remove the battery safely.'”

McLean reports, “Such a regulation would seem to impact Apple’s integrated battery design of its iPods and the iPhone, which are somewhat unique in that their batteries are not designed to be user replaceable and typically require special tools or professional assistance to remove them. At the same time however, the directives are not yet completed or ratified, and subject to both modification and exception.”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note:

iPod Owners: Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your coverage to two years from the date of your iPod purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod. During the plan’s coverage period, Apple will replace the battery if it drops below 50% of its original capacity. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for US$49 (iPod shuffle), $59 (iPod nano and classic), $79 (iPod touch) plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax. Apple disposes of your battery in an environmentally friendly manner. More info on iPod battery replacements here.

iPhone Owners: Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your coverage to two years from the date of your iPhone purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone. During the plan’s coverage period, Apple will replace the battery if it drops below 50% of its original capacity. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $79, plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax. Apple disposes of your battery in an environmentally friendly manner. More info on iPhone battery replacements here.

MacBook Air Owners: Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your replacement coverage for a defective battery to three years from the date of your notebook purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan. Apple also offers a battery replacement service for out-of-warranty units for $129. The length of time to complete the repair will depend upon the repair location and availability of service stock. In general, the following replacement times apply: Apple Retail: same day repair with an appointment, Apple Mail-in repair: 3-4 business days after shipment of unit to depot. More info here.

50 Comments

  1. Easy Solution!

    Apple scraps the iPod/iPhone line and starts selling the iBattery line of products. iBatteries are rechargeable and specially designed to power a wide variety of headphones and earbuds on the market today.

    The new Product line includes:
    iBattery Shuffle (the world’s most WEARABLE battery)
    iBattery Nano
    iBattery Classic
    iBattery Touch and
    iBattery 3G

    iBatteries and iBattery replacements are available wherever Macbook and Macbook Pro batteries are sold.

  2. The EU regulates, what kind, size and color of bananas are allowed to be sold. Sheep farmers are not allowed to butcher one of their sheep for personal consumption. The size of wine bottles is regulated. There is no doubt this will pass. Heaven forbid free market determine what people want and will accept. What kind of monster has Europe created with the EU?

  3. They can’t figure out how to solve their banking crisis, but they sure can address the replaceable battery crisis. Socialism. Whay Ayn Rand could not anticipate is that socialism might become so humorous that it could not possibly be taken seriously.

  4. The EU thinks they run R&D;now. Apple should stop selling there products there in protest. What right do they have as to mandate how products are made, designed, or sold? All of these products have 1 year warranties that Apple will honor like all of there other products. The EU seems to be turning COMMUNIST, DICTATORSHIP!

    As an American I think I won’t be traveling to europe anytime soon until the Government changes. This is an OUTRAGE!!!!

  5. Occasionally, the market economy creates a situation where one company, or a group of companies, can do things that aren’t in the best interest of the consumer, and the consumer doesn’t have much choice.

    Oil / Auto industry lobby is a prime example. Thanks to complete lack of government spine, our primary modes of transportation are powered by engines built on concept developed over a century ago, which converts energy by series of explosions. Future generations will look at this period in amazement — how incredibly inefficient mode of energy conversion!! And the only reason we aren’t driving electric cars (and haven’t been driving electric cars for the past 30 years) is that oil / auto lobby. If all the money that was put into tweaking that combustible engine was put into developing battery technology, we’d be driving electric cars that would charge in 5 minutes and drive for 600 miles on a single charge.

    Apple’s battery design obviously has merit, as it allows the company to build a device that is smaller, lighter and smoother. The problem of replaceable batteries is minor at best and most likely just a complete non-issue. This particular case represents needless over-regulation. The argument does stand, however, that there are many situations where consumers need a bit of help from goverment to protect them from the greed that drives large companies, especially in situations where one or group of them represent a monopoly in a market space.

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