The iPhone 16 Might Get a Replaceable Battery

The iPhone 16 Might Get a Replaceable Battery

European regulation is surely doing a number on Apple’s product line. It mandated the company to adopt USB-C on the iPhone and then RCS so that Messages could more easily communicate with Android users worldwide. According to The Information, Apple may be working on a removable iPhone battery to comply with global requirements. We may see it as soon as the iPhone 16 this fall.

Last year, the European parliament passed a rule that smartphone batteries sold and distributed within the EU must adhere to particular design and recycling rules. The most crucial element for smartphones is that you can easily swap out the battery for a new unit. The law applies to batteries across different product categories, including electric scooters and vehicles.

All those thin-is-in smartphones and foldables must comply by 2027, but Apple could be sooner. According to five people involved in the iPhone’s manufacturing, one of the iPhone 16 models may debut a new easy-to-replace battery tech.

Currently, the iPhone uses adhesive strips to keep the battery in place. This requires tweezing and slightly warming the area to eradicate the leftover adhesive, which is hard to do without a specialized machine and tray Apple provides for its Genius Bars.

To comply with the new law, Apple will instead use “electrically induced adhesive debonding,” a method that uses a “small jolt of electricity” to remove the battery. Rumors of this battery release method have been floating around since last winter.

You’re still going to have to “pry open” the iPhone yourself, reports The Information, which is still not a simple process because of how the components are all connected and screwed into place. And when Apple shows off this technology, it will be with the caveat that it insists you seek professional help with your repair before attempting it yourself.

Apple can get an exemption from the new EU battery law if it follows a set of specific criteria, including retaining at least 83% of its battery capacity after 500 charges and 80% after 1,000. Battery capacity ensures that a device is reusable, and the mandate is to cut down on trashed components so people aren’t replacing their phones outright when they can’t hold a charge.