Facing a possible 2027 deadline in Europe, Apple tests this change to the iPhone

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According to five people who reportedly work on iPhone manufacturing forApple, the tech giant is said to be testing a way for users to more easily remove the glue that holds down the batteries inside the device. The report states that Apple is trying to make it easier for an iPhone owner to replace the battery powering his handset. A self-service battery replacement is one of the options that iPhone users have along with taking their phones to the Apple Store or an authorized service center. 
While an iPhone user can change the battery powering his handset, he still needs to rent specialized tools from Apple in order to do the job himself. Even with the tools, the glue used to keep the battery in place makes removing the component a very tough job. Making it easier to remove the iPhone battery from the device it is powering is what Apple is hoping to change in the future. And by future, we mean the near future since today’s report says that at least one unnamed iPhone 16 model this year will feature the new battery removal system with all four iPhone 17 models expected to get it next year.

The current system requires an iPhone user to wield tweezers that pull on strips that are made of an adhesive. Adding the replacement battery calls for the use of a machine and a tray. The new system is aptly named “electrically-induced adhesive debonding” and it uses electricity to remove the battery from the iPhone’s chassis rather quickly and easily even with the glue used to hold it down.

While Apple’s new battery removal system will be an improvement over the current process required to replace the battery powering an iPhone, it is nothing like the method used to replace batteries inside some of the smartphones from the early days such as 2009’s Motorola DROID. The latter was the first true competition for the iPhone and it featured a replaceable battery. As late as 2014, Samsung promoted a replaceable battery for the Galaxy S5. Manufacturers, both OEM and third-party, offered larger batteries for these phones with special rear panels to accommodate the larger cells.

This is not what Apple has in mind and the tech giant will still require specialized tools to be used to remove the iPhone’s battery, just like now. If that’s the case, why would Apple even bother to develop this change? Well, it all comes down to the European Council. A bit over a year ago, the EU Parliament approved a new law requiring smartphone owners to have the ability to remove and replace the batteries on their phones all by themselves. This new law bans the use of glue to keep the battery in place.

The law doesn’t say that the battery has to be easy to access, only that it can be removed using “commercially available tools.” Specialized tools can also be required if they are provided at no cost. What we could be seeing here is Apple trying to get ahead of the curve before the law takes effect, most likely in 2027.


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