back to article EU battery rule may zap iPhone, blow away MacBook Air

The EU is readying a new set of directives that could spell trouble for Apple's iPhone and any other gadget that lacks an easily removable power pack. A new, draft batteries directive mandates that power cells inside electronic devices must be "readily removable" for replacement and safe disposal. This isn't the case with the …

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More idiotic EU decisions

"Maybe you liked leaded petrol too? CFC-cooled fridges? Perhaps you enjoy littering?

You might like it, but when the battery dies and you throw it in a landfill rather than replacing it you're contributing to a problem that affects people other than you. Earth's a shared resource, buddy, so suck it up."

You might want to read 'Scared to Death' by Chris Booker re. the leaded petrol. Banning leaded petrol has done more environmental harm than the theoretical small risk using it ever had.

You need to burn more unleaded than leaded to get the same power and efficiency than leaded.

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IT Angle

embedded battery

At one time motherboards had a Ni-Cad battery soldered to the board. This looked like a good idea since it would last forever. However the battery leaked and the acid traveled down it's legs into the solder holes in the board then seeped through the layers of the board rendering the motherboard FUBAR. Thankfully they now have replaceable batterys.

Any manufacturer not allowing you to change the battery is ripping you off by deliberately making it's product die.

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@Gulfie

yes, yes - I know that Li-poly batteries are different, but they are a completely different construction to Li-ion and great if you want things like high draw current for flying model aircraft. The point is that the typical Li-ion batteries used in gadgets like phones and cameras are basically all very similar varying largely on capacity and the number of cells plugged together in series. Universal chargers are readily available for them. I'm not suggesting that cells using radically different chemistry are much the same.

For Li-poly you'd need a different sort of battery charger (or one that could handle both), just as is the case if you have Ni-Mh, Li-Ion batteries and lead acid batteries. The basic point is that comparable 7.2v Li-Ion battery from two different gadget manufacturers would essentially be interchangeable apart from the form-factor issue.

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@Steven Jones II

Actually my specialist charger has one mode that covers both Li-Po and Li-Ion. The real danger is that one device's 'universal' charger is for NiMh while another's is for LiPo. Granted all small (pocket size) devices use LiPo, but bigger devices are still sometimes shipping with NiMh...

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Wise Mr Booker

The man who thinks that asbestos is not harmful and asbestosis a money-making scam cooked up by those rich and powerful ex-shipyard workers in an attempt to cripple brave industrial giants.

aka the "Wikipedia Professor of Gibberish":

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/09/23/the-patron-saint-of-charlatans/

If lead and asbestos are so safe, he should make like John Selwyn Gummer and build his kids' nursery out of it.

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Bring on the ultracapacitors

Easily removable -- with a surface-mount chip hot-air (360C) repair station. Every home should have one.

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Alert

And therin lies the flaw..

"The sensor sizes and optics in a camera phone can never be good, phones are too disposible to ever have any quality."

Disposable because they break? no disposable because next years is a 'new' flavour. Business is happy to sell you a new one every year, because you will buy! so they withold tech to make sure next years is ever so slightly better. sod what it can do? why sell golden geese? etc..

Dont forget, the business mantra is not; charge what it costs plus a margin, its; charge what the idiots will pay!

My 2 year old K800 is way better then the piece of crap that sony brought out to replace it, and is still in use. oh god im going to die because of unfashionableness... no Im not a sheeple!

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next define standard lithium battery sizes

Unlike Ni/Cd, alkaline, Pb/Mn or C/Zn, Lithium dimensions and contacts are as standardised as pre-EU cucumbers. Why, then you could even replace them with Toshiba fuel cells (see related article in ElReg)

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Um

Remind me, British type folks, isn't this the sort of thing they mocked on Yes, Prime Minister? I have a Gen 2 iPod (10Gig) that is still running fine and has not had the battery replaced. Replaceable batteries are generally crappy and I would likely have had to replace it three times by now. This is an improvement?

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@ Um

All three smartphones I've had had easily replaceable batteries, none of which have every failed. Handy as you can keep a spare charged battery with you and double the time you can use the phone when unable to charge it.

less important with eInk devices as the battery lasts much longer, but it could still be useful.

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re: Um

And if ANYTHING even if it's not related to the battery goes dead, you're SOL.

Because it's a home mod to get the battery changed.

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Boffin

How about sizes?

How about standard sizes for these things? Like the A, AA, AAA - but obviously different form factors, from the miniscule to the thick and lasting?

Point is most of the battery packs have pretty much standard insides, with different molded plastic packages and contact points..

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What they need is...

...a scheme where the user takes depleted battery to the store and gets a discount on the new battery. Then the battery stores could ensure that the old batteries are recycled responsibly. Sure, some may still end up in landfill, but don't discount the power of a *ahem* discount.

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@Bad Beaver & iPod users

If attempting to remove the battery voids the warranty, it is not readily removable. The manufacturer is providing a strong incentive not to do so, which most people will follow.

If replacing the battery requires special tools that are not commonly available, it is not readily removable.

"Readily removable" means that an average person can remove it, by hand or with a single tool they already possess, such as a standard screwdriver.

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@Kanhef

If the battery fails during the warranty Apple will replace it free of charge (assuming you've not bashed it with a hammer etc). If the battery fails outside of warranty you can obviously change it yourself or pay Apple to change it for you .... see

http://www.apple.com/uk/support/ipod/service/battery/

looks like good customer service from Apple again.

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@Richard

Or lose warranty if you change the battery yourself (saving about $70).

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@David Wiernicki

So if Britain hadn't Abolished slavery the Americans "nation of the Free" (tm) would have beaten us to it? How come you treated your back soldiers in WWII and 'nam as second rate? or did i miss something about Dr King?

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@Richard

why should i have to pay for something I could do my self if the product was engineered properly?

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Jobs Horns

looks like good customer service from Apple again!!!???

Looks like another Apple tie-in rip off.

Bit like getting rid of firewire on MacBooks to make people buy the MacBook Pro - that's great service!! The customers really don't think so, Apple are pulling any criticism from their forums - that's good customer service?

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Motherboard batteries

@By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 7th October 2008 15:55 GMT

Have non removable by sheeple batteries on the mother board, so I think this is a problem for more companies then apple.

====

uhh, what? pretty damn simple to remove any motherboard battery that I've ever seen.

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