But there are still four years before the law comes into force.
As you know, according to the new law , all smartphones (and not only) in the European Union from 2027 will have to receive removable or replaceable batteries. And although there are questions regarding the wording and interpretations, Apple, apparently, has already decided that there will be no fully removable batteries in the iPhone.
In an interview with the German YouTube channel ORBIT, Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering John Ternus discussed the possibility of using removable batteries in the iPhone. Turnus said he believes that if people need a battery replacement, there should be a safe and effective way to do it.
There may be a slight conflict between durability and maintainability. You can make an internal component more maintainable by making it discrete and removable, but that actually adds a potential point of failure. Using the data, we can understand which parts of the phone need to be repaired, and which parts are actually better made so reliable that they never need to be repaired. It’s always a kind of balance.
It is unlikely that the iPhone will end up with an easily replaceable battery
Our iPhones are IP68 rated, so they’re incredibly water resistant. We always get these great stories when customers tell us how they accidentally dropped their phone in a body of water and it took them two days to get it out and they are so excited because it still works. To get this level of water resistance, there are a lot of high tech adhesives and sealants to make everything waterproof, but of course it makes the opening process a bit difficult. So there is a balance.
We take a truly data-driven approach to maintainability. We want to focus on making sure our customers have easy access to repairing things that are most likely to need repair. Last year, in iPhone 14, we redesigned the entire phone, making it with what we call “Mid-Body Architecture” so that the back glass can be detached, making it much easier to repair if someone breaks the back glass.
That is, in general, apparently, Apple does not agree that the design of the iPhone should be such that the user can quickly and easily change the battery on their own. In fact, there have never been such iPhones at all. The company also notes that in the current generation it has already improved maintainability and simplified the process of replacing the battery, which was previously confirmed by the same iFixit.
How Apple (and other manufacturers) will circumvent the new EU law is not yet clear. In the end, it says that the battery must be replaceable, and it is possible to replace it in any smartphone, the only question is the complexity of the process.