It will take a few years, but a new set of regulations adopted in the European Union targeting electronic waste may shift the landscape of user-end replaceable batteries in portable electronic devices. One of the things the new regulations include is that every electronic device using portable batteries will be forced to make those batteries accessible and replaceable by the consumer. This rule is intended to affect devices made following its adoption by 2027.
The EU shared its new electronic waste and battery regulations in a press release on the European Union website earlier this July, as spotted by Overkill. The new regulations mostly cover recycling, phasing out of waste products and unrecyclable electronics and batteries, and general reduction of the carbon footprint in the tech space. The part that stands to affect devices like the iPhone and Nintendo Switch is one regarding batteries in new devices after 2027.
“The regulation provides that by 2027 portable batteries incorporated into appliances should be removable and replaceable by the end-user, leaving sufficient time for operators to adapt the design of their products to this requirement,” the press release reads.
If batteries are over a certain capacity, they will still need to be replaced by an independent professional, but this regulation stands to affect a wide variety of products that feature rechargeable batteries inaccessible by normal consumers. The Nintendo Switch, iPhone, iPad, Meta Quest VR headsets, and more are among those that could fall into these regulations.
The European Union has wielded a hefty hand in its modern dealings with tech companies. In 2022, it adopted the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), which heavily regulated how tech giants are allowed to collect and utilize user-end data. This latest move is more of an environmental concern, but still may shift the designs of technology as we get closer to the end of the decade.
Currently, Nintendo has seemingly been sitting in a holding position as it continues to garner sales on the current generation of Nintendo Switch platforms, but it will be interesting to see if Nintendo prepares its next console to meet EU regulatory demands. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for the latest news on upcoming devices and technologies.