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EU battery directive could force Apple to rethink various products

by Parm Mann on 10 October 2008, 11:51

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Back in July 2006, the European Union approved the latest version of its battery directive, one of many directives aimed at promoting a clean environment and standardised manufacturing.

The directive, which came into force late last month, contains one particular article that will make for unpleasant reading for manufacturers such as Apple.

Article 11 states that batteries in consumer devices must be able to be "readily removed" in an effort to prevent the batteries from winding up at landfills as part of the device they power.

Apple, currently the world's leading manufacturer of portable music players with its hugely-popular iPod, is renowned for shipping portable products that contain built-in batteries that can only be removed or replaced by Apple itself. Despite offering a free recycling program for devices such as the iPod and iPhone, the California-based manufacturer may find its popular products don't abide to EU requirements.

However, will the "readily removed" requirement really have much of an impact? At present, the term "readily removed" doesn't have a specific definition and is open to interpretation by the manufacturer. Unless the EU expands on article 11 with a more comprehensive definition, Apple may not be required to make immediate changes, but it'll no doubt be mindful of the directive in future.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Are apple going to end up having visible screws on their ipods :o Thats great news as far as im concerned as batterys failing to retain charge is a common problem with ipods, still they will probably charge 4 x the price to make up for it!
Nearly everyone I know has had an ipod fail with battery problems within a year. Apple are stupid enough to not have replacement batteries and charge extra for it, and consumers are willing to pay extra for it. The good news however is that most of the people who have a problem vow to never buy an Apple product again…

Creatives recent players are also guilty of this and it narks me off immensely.
Sony, for all their sins, (which include closing down a project i was a part off!) have always made their batteries removeable, included instructions on how to remove, and disposal advice.

What really narks me off is twat asosiastiosn like greenpeace go round raiting companies green credentials and ignore really really easy stuff like that.
This has to be good news for consumers, unless Apple use this as an excuse to further hike prices in EU countries relative to the US. It never made sense to me having to replace the whole piece of hardware when the only faulty bit is the battery.