Proposed EU Battery Law Might Cause Trouble for Apple

LONDON — The European Union is considering new legislation that would make business difficult for electronic devices that don't have removable batteries.

The proposed law would require that all electronic devices be powered by batteries that are easily removable for easy replacement and storage.

Both directives would cause plenty of headaches for Apple, none of whose iPhone, iPod and MacBook Air products have easily removed batteries.

"The requirement is clearly there to encourage equipment designers to produce devices where the battery can be removed by opening the cover by hand or after the removal of literally just one or two screws," said electronics expert Gary Nevison in an interview with

But would the tech giant obey these new laws? Apple already offers free recycling services for iPods and iPhones, but Nevison said that these new law might mean the end for iPods and iPhones in Europe – at least in their current state.

On the other hand, CNET's Tom Krazit noted that Apple might be able to work around the law.

It's not clear that the directive – which is very vaguely worded at present – would force drastic changes in the design of the iPhone," he said, later adding, "The idea behind the directive is to prevent batteries from ending up in landfills, and if Apple is able to show the E.U. that its battery replacement program prevents that result, that might meet the requirements of the directive."

The new law would, if approved, require that at least 25 percent of all portable batteries be recycled by 2012. That number would rise to 45 percent by 2016.


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