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If approved new regulations would mean batteries on iPod and iPhone would have to be readily replaceable

Among Smartphones, the best selling device on  the market right now according to NPD Group is the Apple iPhone 3G. The iPhone is also the second best selling mobile phone of all right behind the Motorola RAZR V3.

One of the biggest criticisms of the device is that the battery is not user replaceable. For the vast majority of consumers not being able to replace the built-in rechargeable battery is not that big of a deal. When the original iPhone launched, there was an outcry against the non-replaceable battery. Apple ended up announcing an $86 mail-in replacement program for the battery.

AppleInsider reports that new directives being proposed could see Apple having to redesign all of its products -- including the iPhone -- to accommodate removable batteries that can be thrown away when the life of the product is over.

If approved the new directives wouldn’t be the first time a European program has forced product manufacturers to redesign products that are sold globally. RoHS went into effect in 2006 and many manufacturers went back to the drawing board for redesigns that would meet the specification.

Apple was specifically affected by RoHS with its iSight camera, which would have required a redesign to meet RoHS specifications. The result was Apple pulled the separate camera off the global market and integrated the iSight into its computers.

The new batteries directive would force all products sold in Europe to have batteries that are readily removable at the end of the product life to prevent the item from being sent to landfills or recycled with the battery inside.

The proposed directives are not intended to force manufacturers to redesign the products in a specific way reports AppleInsider. Rather the goal is to keep toxic materials out of landfills. No matter the intention of the regulations, the side effect could be something that consumers have been clamoring for since the iPod and iPhone were introduced -- removable batteries.

If Apple had to redesign to meet the criteria in Europe, it would mean that products globally would see the same features since it would make no sense to build and market products with two different designs. This could lead the way to an iPhone or iPod where the user could simply pop in a new and freshly charged battery on the run for additional run time.

AppleInsider quotes Gary Nevison of New Electronics saying, "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."

Knowing how closed Apple likes to keep its product ecosystem, if the new EU regulations are approved Apple could designing the product to require screws to be removed to access the battery. This would effectively prevent a user from popping in a new battery on the go; few would want to have to resort to removing screws for a few more hours of use.

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Make Sense
By SpaceJumper on 10/7/2008 12:02:48 PM , Rating: 4
This way, consumers do not have to relying on Apple for the battery replacement. It is better for the consumers and the environment.

RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Make Sense
By martinrichards23 on 10/7/2008 12:32:53 PM , Rating: 4
hardly, now we'll have cheap knock-off iphone batteries coming in from china. users will buy these and chunk their old batteries into the garbage.


The whole point is to stop waste. Batteries are recycled, you are not allowed to chuck them in the garbage, which is sensible, given how amazingly toxic they are.

The current situation means the whole product is garbaged (probably with battery) just because the battery runs out.

RE: Make Sense
By Spivonious on 10/7/2008 12:42:34 PM , Rating: 3
Does the trash man look through your garbage for batteries? If they find any, do they fine you?

Until those answers are both yes, people throw batteries away in the trash.

RE: Make Sense
By PrinceGaz on 10/7/2008 2:58:50 PM , Rating: 4
Yes. And yes.

In Britain, it is not unknown for the local council to have inspectors check what people are putting in their bins to ensure they are complying with recycling requirements. I've seen them do it on my local estate, they came round in a pick-up truck type vehicle on which they emptied the contents of bins onto the back and sorted through the rubbish. And I know they weren't identity-theft fraudsters because it was an official council truck and they were doing it in daylight then put what they found back in the bins, unlike the fraudsters who only ever do it at night and leave the rubbish lying in the street.

So I never throw away batteries in my bin :)

RE: Make Sense
By Springfield45 on 10/9/2008 1:10:07 PM , Rating: 3
What a country. Inocent people are sent to prison for trying to defend themselves, thugs walk free, and the local council rifles your bins. I lived there for two years. Until sanity is returned to the Isles, I never will.

RE: Make Sense
By overlandpark4me on 10/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/7/2008 12:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
lol, oh please. do you honestly believe people will be more responsible with recycling batteries if they are allowed to remove them from their iphones. way too naive!

Cause recycling is what everybody freaking does today right! Just dont turn your back before they find the nearest disposal.

RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/7/2008 12:56:29 PM , Rating: 3
if apple is responsible for the batteries it creates one choke point for the environmental lobby to keep an eye out for improper disposal. nothing can stop the end user from dumping it wherever they choose to do so, especially if they have to pay for disposal.

RE: Make Sense
By ceefka on 10/8/2008 7:04:53 AM , Rating: 2
In The Netherlands you pay for disposal when buying anything electric, like a sort of tax, so there's no escaping that.

nothing can stop the end user from dumping it wherever they choose to do so,

Yes there is: the end user can stop him/herself. To dispose of it properly it simply takes a bit of consideration from the consumer. How much effort is it really to dispose of it properly? It's not like you have to drive miles and miles to do that. We have a special bin for batteries and other chemical waste.

RE: Make Sense
By tmouse on 10/8/2008 1:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be missing the point; the vast majority of people will chuck the whole thing since it will seem to be cheaper to get the new version with new batteries. This increases battery and electronic waste. If there are removable batteries many would find it cheaper to replace the batteries (depending on whether they are user replaceable or not). Apple will either have them not replaceable or the battery will be a custom form not available (although others could still make knock off types). Keep in mind this is not an anti Apple law many companies are making sealed devices (and many more will seeing Apples success with compelling people to upgrade by placing battery replacement costs within earshot of device replacement costs. Apple is in business to sell devices not replacement batteries. The interesting thing is how a company championing throw away devices is still looked on as a champion of greeness.

RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/8/2008 1:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
my point was that if they can replace the batteries then they'll just buy a new one and chunk the old one. then a year later chunk the phone and the second battery, basically doubling the waste.

what im really pushing at is if apple handles this correctly by offering discounts on bringing old phones in for new ones including the battery then there is a more likely chance this will succeed than by hoping and praying that people do the right thing.

i find it funny that you say they arent in the business of replacing batteries when they've already incorporated that into the current business model. maybe you missed the point.

RE: Make Sense
By tmouse on 10/8/2008 2:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
First off let’s say it again: It Is Not An Anti-Apple law. Most of the companies making disposables do NOT have a program to replace them, Apple itself did not until pressure and bad press compelled them. So, by and large, for the vast majority of disposables there is no gatekeeper. The goal (even for Apple) is NOT to sell replacement batteries but to sell replacement equipment. You force the consumer to consider replacement when the battery runs out. Apple has no plans to recycle old phones that I am aware of, maybe they will but unless the public outcry is big enough I doubt it. I do not follow your logic in your first paragraph If people cannot replace the batteries most will dump the entire unit and buy another, this doubles the waste. If you can replace the batteries many will; thus keeping the unit longer and only producing the battery waste, which is there either way. Relying on a company to lose money to recycle is a bad strategy and if they can make a profit then the cost to the consumer will probably lead to the same state we are in now with cell phones filling up landfills. Just because a company offers a service does not make it a real part of its profit model. $86 for changing a battery, not to mention the time lost during the service, do you really think more than a small fraction of the people using Apples stuff will do this? They now have sealed music devices, phones and laptops. There is no nano replacement program.

RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/8/2008 4:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
to cut the ordeal short... im going to agree to disagree with you.

i think if you create a loop there are choke points where you can have better control of the process. you think the millions upon millions of end users will be more responsible.

so be it.

RE: Make Sense
By BZDTemp on 10/7/2008 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
Just because you haven't seen the light yet does not mean it is so in Europe.

Almost everybody over here recycles if possible. It is simply good sense and I suppose you can think of it just as people don't throw garbage out their car windows. Sure some do but most people put garbage in a trash can.

Over here people sort their garbage. There are containers for glass, metal, electronics, batteries, paper, untreated wood, treated wood (like furniture), mineral oil...

Sure it costs to set up the systems and it is a little inconvenient but makes for a cleaner environment, less energy use and we don't get mountains of waste near every city.

RE: Make Sense
By SandmanWN on 10/7/2008 1:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
yeah right, ive been throughout europe for many years. yeah they are a bit more mindful but your implication that they have some sort of massive adoption rate that far exceeds anyone elses in recycling is bogus at best. it still happens and it still happens on a pretty profound scale even in europe.

i see the economic benefits of the batteries being removable but im hardly naive enough to believe this will resort in some sort of in crease in environment consciousness for cell phone batteries. far too many get tossed away and i think apple may be on to a better way of cutting down their ewaste. a simple discount for bringing in your old phone for a discount on a new one will probably spur a much higher rate of proper cell phone battery disposal than opening up the possibility that the generally stupid public will take the responsibility upon themselves.

RE: Make Sense
By Oregonian2 on 10/7/2008 2:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
We used to have to sort things for the recycle pickup, but they changed to only a two-way sort with glass in one container (well, and oil in jugs sit next to that one) and all others go into a single big container that they sort themselves. Recycle bins are "free" while garbage pickup is not, so recycle percentage is high (eighty-something percent I think). But coverage is less. Things like batteries, sharps, toxic stuff (paints, solvents, etc) need to be delivered to a place ten miles away (but they take it there for free). Also one is stuck with things like TV sets unless one can convince a Goodwill to take it -- else one has to pay for recycling those so they tend not to be (think that's being "fixed" by a new program in a few months).

So, recycling varies a lot in the U.S. depending where one is because it's done by local governments. It's also influenced by whether or not that local government has something it can do with it after it collects it. Wish they'd take those stupid sytrofoam peanuts that shipping packages are filled with (although less so in recent years). We've recycled the stuff to ship-it stores, but they'll take only so much. Need to start selling stuff on ebay to 'recycle' it ourselves, kinda. :-)

RE: Make Sense
By afkrotch on 10/9/2008 9:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
The best recycling programs are the ones best left out of the hands of the consumers. Take S.Korea for example. There are no special bins, no special trash bags, etc. You take all trash and toss it in a bag. All the sorting is done at the dump, by those who work there. They will go through and sort your glass, metals, papers, plastics, etc.

Here in Germany you sort by paper, plastic/aluminium/styrofoam/wax covered paper (like milk cartons), and rubbish. Glass is recycled by color and there may or may not be a pickup. If there is none, then you have to cart your ass to the nearest recycle center. For those who live in a city environment (like myself), we don't waste our time recycling. We just dump it all into the big dumpster and avoid the recycle dumpster like a plague. These type of programs both work and don't work.

Japan is terrible with it. Not only do they not recycle (cept plastic bottles, it seems), but trash is burnt. You get burnable and non-burnable trash and then plastic bottles. Not only do you create a lot of waste, but you pollute more by burning it.

Anyways, I really wouldn't expect users will be pulling batteries out when throwing away a product. They probably won't add another bin for batteries, as no one is gonna create a whole ton of battery waste. Also it's inconvienent to have the user take the batteries to a recycling plant. Now if Apple or any other company for that matter had a type of recycling programs where they rewarded the users (like 5% off next Apple product purchase or whatever), this would probably have more of an impact than some regulation to force manufacturers to make replaceable batteries in all products that use them.

RE: Make Sense
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 9:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
lol, oh please. do you honestly believe people will be more responsible with recycling batteries if they are allowed to remove them from their iphones. way too naive!
You say this as though multiple programs for disposing lithium batteries don't exist. If Apple wants to be a big player in the industry, they are going to have to think of the environmental impact of throwing away an entire phone because you can't take the battery out.

I for one have thrown every single one of my lithium cell phone battery out through the proper channels. Also the crackberry program at my work mandates that all batteries must be removed and thrown out correctly, many other business's do this too. Just because you don't does not make us naive, it just makes you irresponsible.

RE: Make Sense
By SpaceJumper on 10/7/2008 9:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
What make you think the iPod or iPhone batteries are quality one? My current iPod battery is not the Apple brand and it is working three times longer already.

RE: Make Sense
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 9:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
Very True, it is as simple as reading the battery capicity. For example the Iphone has a 1400MaH capacity, so aslong as the voltage remains the same (this is what you have to make sure matches, the iphone is 3.7V) than any higher MaH capacity should give you longer battery life. I bought a 2000MaH extended battery for my cell phone off ebay for 14 dollars, it works great and lasts twice as long as the original.

RE: Make Sense
By sprockkets on 10/7/2008 10:44:17 PM , Rating: 3
Where do you think the batteries were made in the first place? For that matter, every ipod and iphone is made in China.

But where?
By JasonMick on 10/7/2008 11:25:22 AM , Rating: 5
But where would Apple recoup the $75/arm-and-a-leg or whatever it charges to replace the iPhone/iPod batteries??? *gasp*

Next up: iPhone Price increase in Europe

RE: But where?
By spuddyt on 10/7/2008 11:30:49 AM , Rating: 5
and everywhere else as well, it wouldn't be cost effective to have seperate versions for different regions. Although personally I prefer this way, purely because it means apple can't put in a battery designed to break the moment the warranty runs out.... *stares at various ipods....*

RE: But where?
By mindless1 on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: But where?
By mindless1 on 10/9/2008 1:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose I was rated down for mentioning reality in the market, for something others don't want to have happen instead of accuracy? Rating systems rule!

RE: But where?
By mondo1234 on 10/7/2008 11:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
If passed, they could also get by with removable screws and instructions.

RE: But where?
By chmilz on 10/7/2008 11:56:08 AM , Rating: 5
If passed, they could also get by with removable screws and instructions.

If Apple isn't the authority on screwing things, I don't know what is.

RE: But where?
By napalmjack on 10/7/2008 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 3
Ain't that the truth?

There were about 15 different types of screws in the old iBook.
They scatter quite well when dropped from a stairwell...

RE: But where?
By othercents on 10/7/2008 12:14:02 PM , Rating: 1
This now starts to hit the form vs function debate. User replaceable battery on the new iPod nanos would be virtually impossible as with the majority of the iPod line. The iPhone isn't that difficult to open, but the battery definitely isn't user replaceable.

Now the next question is why does the government want us to throw away batteries that could be toxic to the environment? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to have the batteries replaced by the manufacture (for a reasonable price) and disposed of properly, or even recycled?


RE: But where?
By Oregonian2 on 10/7/2008 1:58:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, you hit on one thing I noticed. The battery doesn't need to be user replaceable -- just user removable. Very different. Apple only needs to have a slot somewhere where a screwdriver can twist open the case, and have the battery yank-outable, perhaps breaking the wires. Unit can then be tossed away and the battery saved from the landfill, which is the purpose of the regulations.

Curiously, the new French designed Archos products have gone to "sealed" non-easily replaceable batteries in their last couple generations of devices.

All done for the same reasons -- including GPS units as well. Makes the units noticeably smaller. Replaceable battery devices are a lot physically larger than equivalents that don't. The battery case, "case socket", and connectors are eliminated and it doesn't have to consume an external surface -- can be tucked into a internal hole wherever there's room.

Just need Tardis based devices that are larger on the insides than they are on the outsides. :-)

RE: But where?
By mindless1 on 10/7/2008 5:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
If the government already deemed it important to not throw them out, there are already laws about recycling them - so throw away is only a loose term.

Let's face it though, when the battery is dead many if not most people will toss the whole thing out unless someone is paying them for their old phone. At least a few might replace the battery and keep using it, but if they are sent to a recycling center then having a more easily removable battery reduces the recycling center costs, possibly even making the difference between whether a center recycles it at all or sorts it out.

RE: But where?
By SiN on 10/7/2008 1:22:18 PM , Rating: 1
"suck on that one apple" :P

or "how do you like them apples? apple!"

i personally thought that they were already made to allow iPod owners be able to swith out the battery. dont know why i thought that - i dont own one - but i thought it was the case.

RE: But where?
By pmonti80 on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: But where?
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 9:29:55 AM , Rating: 3
Don't be surprised if we see regulations like this come to North America soon. It just does not make sense that you can not take out the battery. If not for the fact that batteries do die on heavy use, but the environmental impact when throwing the product away. Not being able to separate the battery will result in people just throwing the entire unit away, instead of disposing the lithium batteries in a safe way. Apple will not raise the price of the Iphone, especially with these uncertain economic times. They will just have to take this hit, or possibly we may see the phone stay at a higher price point when it would have been lowered again after a certain amount of time.

RE: But where?
By AmbroseAthan on 10/8/2008 10:47:18 AM , Rating: 2
It would be simple...

Print Ad:
"Introducing the new iBattery! Operating as an extra battery, you can pop it right into your iPhone or iPod to provide you extra hours of Apply heaven, all by yourself! The extra battery costs ONLY $75/arm-and-a-leg and provides you DOUBLE the life of having only a single battery! This is a revolution in power technologies by Apple!!"

In the Store:
Clerk: "I see you are being a new iPhone 3.5G today, would you also like an extra battery for extra power on the road? Only $75/arm-and-a-leg!"

By Ordr on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pathetic.
By Grast on 10/7/2008 11:49:25 AM , Rating: 5

I would normally be right behind you on the whole environmentalist issues. However in this case, I believe the concern is valid. Since the battery in an iPhone can not be removed and Apple does not have a program in place to dispose of iPhones, the next logical step to prevent nickel and lithium contamination of landfills and thus the drinking water is to require a removable battery.

E-Waste is a big issue. I for one do not want to spend millions of dollars to clean up ground water contamination from iPhones and iPods being disposed in our land fills.


RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pathetic.
By Entropy42 on 10/7/2008 12:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Do you really think that there are enough people who care about something like this that they would not buy an iPhone? Thinking about how their products affect the environment after they are thrown away is not in most companies' best interest (financially). Short of a highly publicized disaster, most people aren't going to think far enough in the future to care about what their batteries are doing in landfills.

RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/2008 12:34:39 PM , Rating: 1
While I understand where you're coming from, I still disagree on the methodology of how you curb the problem of e-waste.

If this battery used specifically by Apple in portable electronics has been shown, through objective science and research, to be harmful to individuals during the time that it decays in a landfill, a court-case can determine whether or not action must be taken against them. Broad, sweeping laws without both parties' (the company and the state) involvement should not be made.

RE: Pathetic.
By BZDTemp on 10/7/2008 1:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
So you are saying nothing should be done now and we should simply wait 20-30 years till we see the drinking water has been poisoned?

What good will a law do at that time - it is not like you can make a law fix things back in time. Perhaps you may want to look up DDT (just read the Wiki it will tell the horror story real quick).

This directive is not about going after Apple as it is meant for all products. The battery problems applies to all sorts of stuff fx. I have a toothbrush, a SONY MP3, SONY PS3 controllers, a SONOS remote and they all come with a recharge battery which can't be replaced.

The proposed law is about making sure products are made as safe as possible. You say the industry can handle this on it's own but if so then why is it difficult to take an iPod apart?

RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/2008 3:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Where did I say that "nothing should be done now"?
I'm simply suggesting a legal alternative to the gunpoint of a governmental entity.

RE: Pathetic.
By BZDTemp on 10/7/2008 4:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
Pardon - but you were writing about doing a court case if there is a problem. That seems to suggest waiting rather than acting beforehand.

I find the concept of business acting responsible on it's own or perhaps business acting with law makers in a collaborative way a great concept. The only thing is experience shows this rarely works unless the is money in it for the business people. Perhaps you can supply some good example of this.

As for the "gunpoint" thing that is not really what is happening. The laws are not made by people sitting in a vacuum but rather they are made by democratically elected politicians working with interest groups and considering what works out the best for everyone. Not a perfect system but democracy does seem to be among the best options - me as World ruler would of course be better :-)

RE: Pathetic.
By mindless1 on 10/7/2008 5:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, since when is a proposed EU regulation NOT a legal alternative, but instead a gunpoint?

The prior poster is correct, waiting until you have a problem with them in dumps is far further from the goal than finding ways to minimize the # that end up in the dump in the first place. Ultimately even in the best case of recycling them, the battery must come out of the phone so making that more modular and easy to do is in everyone's interest except Apple's - until customers get picky enough to insist on this if the government doesn't intervene first.

Batteries should always be made modular and removable, if it takes a sweeping law to make it happen then maybe government is doing something useful towards the future instead of just finding new ways to spend money on pork projects.

RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/2008 4:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
I missed the part where you mentioned DDT. Are you referring to the law that, when passed, sentenced tens of millions of people to death by malaria?

RE: Pathetic.
By Boze on 10/8/2008 10:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa whoa whoa, psuedo-environmentalist... DDT is a perfectly safe chemical that was tremendously overused. The only real valid concern the true environmentalists at the time had was that some species (not even all of them) of birds' (perigrine falcons) eggshells could be weakened by the chemical. As far as the study done, the researcher wasn't even providing the right dosage of calcium to the birds. Why's that a concern? Try "wikipediaing" the necessity of calcium to a bird's egg shell. Of course you probably won't find anything useful, since Wikipedia is only a starting point for information, and on especially controversial subjects like the ban on DDT, its reliability is in question because there are rarely SMEs writing any of the articles. Also, the "horrors" of DDT? What kind of propagandist bullcrap is that? The egg shell scare is about the only thing you have and even its been debunked. DDT is safe enough to eat in dosages that are mind-boggling. Don't take my word for it, just ask the prisoners that were fed the powder for several years.

I'll take the lives of millions of human beings over some falcons any day of the week... too bad most "environmentalists" are more concerned with animals than they are people. Of course who cares right? Because we don't have malaria in the United States anymore... hey, that disease only kills poor brown and black people in other countries! You might want to keep your poor comparisons to yourself... DDT and iPhone batteries aren't even remotely on the same level.

RE: Pathetic.
By Grast on 10/8/2008 11:44:02 AM , Rating: 2

I am also not completely satisfied with the government putting forth regulations on businesses. Actions such as this do put a limitating force on creativity and new product development. My problem though is how to solve the problem. As stated by another posters, consumers do not think about what happens to the product when it is being bought. Additionally since a recycling program for the device is not widely in operation, most consumers are not going to spend any a large ammount if any of time determine the best method of disposal. The consumer will simply throw the device in the garbage.

The only other main stream solution is to place an additional tax on the item similar to TV tubes. Does that sound like a good idea, NOT. The goal of this tax would be to pay landfill managers to develop methods for removing the offending items from the trash before it is moved into the landfill. I have never liked the idea of developing systems to remove items from the trash which should not be there to begin with. On the outside of thinking, the tax money could be used to clean-up contanimation.

Neither idea is preferable, but I think if we look at human behavior. If the battery is removalable, may be the consumer will not throw it in the trash with the device once they are done with the device.

In my opinion, the recycling of alluminmum, plastic, and paper are relatively successful endevours in the U.S. Due to the shear amount of E-Waste being generate currently and increasing ammount as move on in the future, the development of a E-waste recycling program for the entire country would solve the problem. The need for excessive legislation by the government would be eliminated. A new type of business model could be created. The reuse and recycling of e-waste could accually be a reality.


RE: Pathetic.
By sweetsauce on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/2008 12:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
Astute comeback...

RE: Pathetic.
By FITCamaro on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pathetic.
By Ordr on 10/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pathetic.
By mindless1 on 10/7/2008 5:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
If the government didn't do anything about the environment you would be left with those who can find it more economical to be environmentally friendly. Ever heard of an auto rickshaw? There's one example of terrible pollution when government doesn't step in. The real question is to what degree we accept that happening versus any tradeoffs in cost or convenience to the consumer.

If we left it to Apple, (as we did), or left it to consumers to not buy them (which we are but they do), the result is arguably worse for the environment. I am for less, not more government regulation, but in some areas it is more important to have it than others.

How often does this happen?
By Aloonatic on 10/7/2008 11:37:26 AM , Rating: 3
I've had mobile phones for a long long time and I have never had to replace a failed/defective battery?

How often do people have to do this?

Or are people more wanting to have a spare fully charge battery waiting in the wings should the first fail whilst you are away from a charge point?

With devices becoming ever more power hungry I would have thought that it would be a good thing to be able to sell (probably) unnecessary extra batteries, which could make Apple a nice bit of extra pocket money?

So why do they not want people doing it themselves? Are Apple scared that it will ruin the mystique of the device when people open it up and it says made in China?*

* Or wherever they are made, presumably not on the thighs of super-models?

RE: How often does this happen?
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 12:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
I've never had a failed or defective battery. But every cell phone I've had has had the battery stop holding a charge after 2-2.5 years. Not everyone replaces their phone yearly.

RE: How often does this happen?
By Aloonatic on 10/7/2008 2:29:48 PM , Rating: 2

I don't think I've had a phone for over 18 months or so, so maybe I have been lucky?

It may be that my luck is running out as contracts have gone from being typically 12 months to 18 months long, over here in the UK.

Not sure how things work out in the US but it is usual to get a new phone at the start of a new one.

Invariably, however, I have found other things to fail in the time that I have had my phone, e.g. cracked/scratched screen or joysticks/buttons stopping working or taking on a life of their own etc.

My parents have had the same phone for a long long time and never had to worry about the battery, although they are not exactly heavy users they always try to use all their minutes every month.

AS these phones get more demanding, like the iPhone, I suppose the problem of battery wear will only get worse?

RE: How often does this happen?
By anotherdude on 10/7/2008 1:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
failed/defective? no, but getting progressively unable to hold a charge happens to ALL of them.

As a separate issue if you are a heavy user of smartphone abilities such as surfing over 3g you gotta carry a spare - that alone is a deal breaker for me on the iPhone, though as much as I stream internet radio ATT probably doesn't want me anyway.

By rcc on 10/7/2008 12:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I haven't looked at an iPhone. However, we know that Apple can swap out batteries, therefore, it's accessible. Probably with a couple/few screws. According to the article posted the requrement is that it be removeable by the user before disposal?

Looks to me like all Apple has to do is provide disposal instructions, and maybe put a connector on the battery connection because we certainly can't expect everyone to have a pair of wire cutters. the could even put in a blurb, it's probably already there, that doing this voids the warranty; but since it's being disposed of, that's a non-issue.

RE: Curious
By rcc on 10/7/2008 12:19:18 PM , Rating: 1
And for the record, I'd prefer that the battery be removeable/replaceable as are most other cell phone batteries. But that's Apple's decision, hopefully based on customer input. Right now the customer input to Apple is "we'll buy as many as you can ship" so there is no incentive for them to change.

By KC7SWH on 10/7/2008 1:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
The Iphone will now come with a hammer so at the end of the product life all you have to do is hit it with the hammer to make the battery readily removable.

By Guttersnipe on 10/7/2008 10:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
making it hard to get into a case is fine. rugged design or whatever. fine. soldering the battery connection is not fine. i think its like laptop lcds, just make it possible. doesn't have to be easy. but atleast let techies savea bit of cash by being able to replace simple things

Misleading, no?
By Subzero0000 on 10/10/2008 2:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
What's all the excitement about anyway?
EU is only telling Apple to make the batteries removable. Not replaceable.

Again : ONLY removable, NOT replaceable.

The objective is to "prevent the item from being sent to landfills or recycled with the battery inside".

So, Apple could come up with a battery that is removable but still very much attach to the device.
You can certainly remove it, but you'll break the device.

By MarioJP on 10/10/2008 5:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
I can understand for the environment concerns, but what I don't understand is forcing people to pay a premium price to have the battery replaced is just plain silly. Second of all devices that can have batteries replaced should have a strict regulation of recycle the batteries when done.

I honestly prefer to have the device battery replaceable/removable by the end user.

Quality Control?
By oxymojoe on 10/7/2008 1:37:04 PM , Rating: 1
At least with no battery door you probably don't get the creaky sound from metal/plastic flexing. I can't stand that! I think the user should be able to decide if they want to put a $.99 cent eBay battery in a uber-expensive phone.

It's no different then any other high end phone in that if I want it to catch on fire and explode from a crappy battery, then that is my right!

BTW, do you have to get a license to make phone batteries?

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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