A leaked proposal from the European Union suggests smartphone manufacturers that want to sell devices in the EU could be required to make all batteries removable in the future. This means Apple could be forced to make its iPhone with a removable battery.
TechRadar reports that the proposal is said to be a long way from being confirmed, and hasn’t been released to the public yet. Dutch publication Het Financieele Dagblad leaked the documents and suggested that the proposal will be officially unveiled in March.
Apple’s iPhones have always used non-removable batteries, requiring users to take their devices into an Apple store or to an Apple Authorized Repair Provider for any battery-related issues. The leaked EU proposal looks to change this, as it would require batteries to be user-replaceable.
If the proposal becomes law, it would require Apple to make massive design changes to comply with the removable battery design requirements. A removable battery could make the iPhone design be thicker and could affect the waterproofing of the device.
Apple could be expected to push back on any such changes and is already fighting against the European Parliament’s desire to have one charger to fit all smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, with the likely candidate to be USB-C.