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. @JohnLee

    actually, it was governmental mandating of Fannie and Freddie to give out riskier loans that caused the problem – not deregulation.

    When you have the government regulate someone to do something stupid – give loans out to those that had no business getting a loan because they had shit credit – which is what happened – then you get our current crisis.

    Of course, i don’t know why you care – Obama will save us all!

  2. I wonder if this new regulation wouldn’t be about being able to easily recycle all of those batteries being used in this new era of “the mobile”? Life is about compromise it seems: i sure love the slim size of my ipod touch but if in the greater scheme of things, a user replaceable battery will help improve the recycling rate of this very popular device, well it would hard for me to object.
    my 2 cents

  3. Interesting… the EU battery Removable scheme is counter productive in it’s goal. A user removable battery is 75% more likely to end up in a waste bin and not be properly recycled. If you have to send the iPod/iPhone/Air to Apple for battery replacement then all replaced batteries are 100% recycled of properly. Even if you had the corner Electronics repair shop replace your iPod/iPhone battery it’s an almost certain that the battery will be recycled properly.
    Removable batteries once dead are typically just dumped in the bin.

    If the EU’s goal is to increase the number of batteries recycled then the mandate should be that all batteries be non-user replaceable or replaceable batteries come with a 10 EURO refundable battery recycle fee. So, you pay an extra 10 euros for each removable battery.

    When you turn the battery in for recycling you get a 10 EURO refund. This has worked in the US for car batteries but without the recycle refund credit having removable batteries is not very protective in meeting the recycling goals set.

  4. “And Socialism marches on……….”

    And ignorance continues.

    I came here to say ‘queue the socialism comments’ but you beat me to it. I supposed being wasteful and purposefully destroying the environment are good things we should all be proud of.

    AMERICA F**K YEAH!

  5. JohnLee writes, “Less government brought us our current financial crisis.” Actually it was government sponsored social engineering that started this whole mess.

    Carter’s “Community Reinvestment Act” promoted the notion that everyone was entitled to own a home, and structured the system to that end. Clinton accelerated the process, and people like Waters, Dodd and Frank berated banks that were following traditional notions of risk. I’ll agree, however, that government regulators were derelict as Wall Street exploded with credit swaps, derivatives and leveraged investments founded on “government secured” mortgages.

  6. Government regulation is sometimes required as Companies do not always do what is right for their customers, just look at the mess caused in the US right now. In regards to Apple they DO NOT offer any extended service plan in Canada for the iPhone even though everyone in Canada has to sign a three year contract with Rogers. This is a joke for a so called great Customer Service Company. The reason is Canada does not exist to Apple and that is not just my opinion, just ask any Canadian Apple Reseller!

  7. @pendrag… I’ll never trust government over industry. On occasion business screws up royally, but generally it is in the interests of business to do what is best for consumers. Generally. Government never acts in the best interests of the people because the first best thing government can do for people is get rid of as much of itself as possible. Government always do the opposite, opting to grow (unregulated), and creating so many laws that just breathing makes the lowly individual some kind of criminal. In addition, governments are comprised of the least talented people on the planet, politicians and lawyers. Such people seem to be naturally drawn to corruption due to the ridiculous power given to governments. This ironically creates the ultimate playground for the most unscrupulous businesses to buy influence. It would not surprise me, for example to find the money of Apple’s competitors behind this latest EU odball illinformed unnecessary legislation. Like the man said, “The government that governs least, governs best.” At most a government should work to insure a level playing field for enterprise, not legislate product specifications.

  8. @john smith, the mess we are in financially is largely based ok the actions of government officials in Congress pushing for affordable home loans to people who normally would not have qualified. This created the climate for the unscrupulous lenders and borrowers to find each other and create one he’ll of a mess.

  9. We dont need to be able to remove the batteries to save the planet. This article talks about the END OF THE ENTIRE PRODUCTS LIFE.

    When you ipod is no longer usable, you can SEND IT BACK TO APPLE or have it recycled.

    The end user DOES NOT need to remove the battery on their own.

    end of story.

  10. The American administration screws up the world with aggressive military action. The American private sector screws up the world with moronic sub-prime mortgages. Maybe the European directive on replaceable batteries will save us all!

  11. Has anyone really looked at other products?? Let’s get real for a moment. The EU needs to look at a few GPS in car navigation devices. Do those products all have user replaceable batteries? i.e. a battery that the average person can easily remove. Email Garmin tech support and ask if you can buy a battery for one of their recent models. When was the last time anyone read a news headline complaining about replacing a battery in a GPS device? Give Apple a break!

  12. Just add bulky plasticky box with wires sticking out of it to iPod/iPhones for Europe and make sure it is easily detachable for ever. Then let buyer just to use the built in battery. I hope that new law will not actually state that you HAVE to replace the batteries.

  13. The trend, as batteries technology gets better and more integrated into the design of high-tech products, is for batteries to be NOT user-replaceable. As these products get smaller, thinner, and sleeker, it will become a big design issue if there has to be a big door for the user to “easily” remove the battery.

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