Notice to owners of smartphones of all kinds: the European Union wants to change the design of phones, even if it means forcing manufacturers…

Every year, it is estimated that 5 billion smartphones are thrown away in the world and that there are 50 million laptops good for scrapping in France alone. All this, despite several laws already voted against “planned obsolescence” in 2015 or even against waste in 2020. We know that mobile phones in landfills cause pollution with toxic chemicals and these “dead” phones constitute a terrible waste of precious metals such as cobalt and lithium.

The EU recently took up the subject in an attempt to stem this deluge of electronic waste. A directive aimed at establishing a circular economy in the electronics industry was voted by the European Parliament in mid-June. And in this broad set of rules on electric vehicle batteries or waste collection, there is a measure that could change the lives of consumers.

The European Union will soon require smartphone manufacturers to allow users to replace their device’s battery. An essential item, often responsible for scrapping the entire phone, replacing a worn out battery can be almost as expensive as buying a new smartphone.

Specifically, the directive provides that consumers must be able to “easily remove and replace” the batteries used in devices such as smartphones, tablets and cameras. Please note: There is no question here of making the batteries “removable”, as we have read in several articles. The term is only used once in the document provided by the European Parliament.

The new rule, on the other hand, must promote a design that facilitates the replacement of the battery by the user himself, without going through an authorized repair service. There is already talk of “kits” for ordering a replacement battery. It remains to allow the opening of the smartphone itself to facilitate this change. This will require a major production overhaul.

But Apple, Samsung and others still have time: the directive is due to come into force in 2027.