x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • Federal Environment Agency of Germany calls for sealed battery ban

Federal Environment Agency of Germany calls for sealed battery ban

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

Federal Environment Agency of Germany calls for sealed battery ban
The President of Germany’s Federal Environment Agency is quoted as backing a ban on devices with built-in batteries, “That the battery component cannot be easily replaced is grotesque. They must prohibit it.” There are advantages and disadvantages to non-replaceable batteries, but “grotesque” is a bit of a strong word. Based on the notion that replaceable batteries are easier to recycle, and thus more environmentally friendly, the FEA would support a ban on devices with sealed batteries.

Citing an EU initiative called the Ecodesign Directive, FEA would like to see the language in that draft expanded beyond its current scope, which is focused on energy consumption, to include language germane to the construction of the devices and the accessibility of the battery. FEA also says that Germans are at the top of the list in terms of raw material consumption.

Useable battery life is not often cited by manufacturers to any degree. Apple has said that an iPhone battery will retain up to 80% of its capacity following a full charge after 400 full charge cycles. As just about every smart phone needs a nightly charge, that amounts to a little over a year’s worth of use. Naturally, those figures degrade somewhat if the device is kept for a full two-year contract.

When batteries are near the end of their life, there are all sorts of good materials inside which can be recycled for making new batteries. The batteries on devices like the iPhone, Lumia 920 or HTC 8X are impossible to remove without tools (not counting breaking them open) when they are ready to be replaced. Even then, the costs to replace the batteries are often the same or more than what the device is worth, or what it would cost to upgrade equipment on a new service contract.

What has not been made clear is how the Ecodesign Directive would be written and what it would force device manufacturers to accommodate. Would it spell the end of sealed devices? Not likely in the grand scheme. Manufacturers have a lot invested in such designs. Sealed designs allow for custom designed batteries and stronger device builds with fewer breakable parts. However, when the batteries reach their end of life, it limits options to the consumer. Aftermarket components are not an option, yet manufacturer replacements are expensive.

What do you think of this idea? Are sealed device batteries “grotesque?” Or is the answer to address recyclability more easily addressed by minor designs that make extraction of the batteries a little easier?

source: Heise.de via All About Symbian

30 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:04 17

1. cncrim (Posts: 504; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


wow, Iphone need to be redesign if this law apply.... Samsung is laughing and support this 150%. lol.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:20 8

5. imsickwithphone (banned) (Posts: 76; Member since: 17 May 2012)


BANNED IPHONE!!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:24 2

7. blackspot (Posts: 102; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


Apple would be plenty hot! Just about all of their portable devices have built-in batteries.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:45 4

24. stealthd (Posts: 967; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


Samsungs tablets wouldn't be safe. Apple isn't the only one with sealed batteries, Motorola, LG, HTC (every other major Android device manufacturer) do as well.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 04:00

30. TheOldOne (Posts: 90; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


The battery for all devices currently on sale (except maybe the iPod mini) is changeable - you can get your iPhone batter replaced if you feel the need, even for the first generation ones.

The change cannot be easy done, meaning is not "user-changeable", which is the spotry here; why would someone have to pay an "authorized service" for doing something that can be easily fixed by a proper device design, beats me.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:07 3

2. antmiu2 (Posts: 211; Member since: 19 Jun 2011)


good i dislike the built in batteries trend

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:15 8

3. lyndon420 (Posts: 1741; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I'm all for it. Unless the OEM wants to give me a brand new phone for the cost of a battery when the old battery poops out.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:17 4

4. blackspot (Posts: 102; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


Just imagine what would happen if this ban was adopted by the biggest smartphone markets worldwide...

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:23 3

6. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)


Apple is grotesque

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:28 5

8. jian9007 (Posts: 20; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


I think it's a great idea. People have a hard time recycling their tech as it is. Removable battery just makes more sense to me, as it gives consumers the ability to add capacity easily, as well as making is easy to recycle the old battery.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:34 11

9. blackspot (Posts: 102; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


Apple: This is MADNESS!!!!

The FEA: THIS. IS. GERMANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:39 1

10. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


Stupid. Germany really has nothing better to do.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 21:04

13. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


7 people love government intervention on everything.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 21:48 5

16. Mr_Hyde (Posts: 20; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


2 people love to be wasteful & freely pollute the earth.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:01

18. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


Explain how thinking that a ban on handsets without removable batteries is wasteful?

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:06

20. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


Edit: Explain how thinking that a ban on handsets without removable batteries is unnecessary wasteful?

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:18 1

22. Mr_Hyde (Posts: 20; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


Explanation #1 - "...the costs to replace the batteries are often the same or more than what the device is worth, or what it would cost to upgrade equipment on a new service contract."

Explanation #2 - "When batteries are near the end of their life, there are all sorts of good materials inside which can be recycled for making new batteries."

Now, explain how 10 people love government intervention on everything.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:43

23. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


A new iphone 4 battery on eBay cost 10 dollars.

Who says you still can't recycle the batteries?

People believe that just because they dislike something that there should be a law against it. Asking for this type of government intervention allows for government to intervene on every aspect of our lives. Since something as so trivial as a removable battery can be discussed by government anything in your everyday lives can be discussed and allow for the government to intervene.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 21:50 1

17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8306; Member since: 14 May 2012)


"Germany has nothing better to do."

Lol because a country isn't doing much that occupies their time. Your sense of logic puzzles me.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:04

19. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


It's sarcasm, of course they have better things to do instead of deciding if a company should allow the removal of their batteries or not. If people hated removable batteries so much then it would be a deal breaker for them not to purchase those phones. Since people do buy those phones then it isn't a big deal.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 03:15

29. kamen (Posts: 84; Member since: 18 Jul 2011)


Actually, Germany does crazy lot for enough people... and countries.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 19:39 9

11. GoBears (Posts: 356; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Absolutely no reason to seal in the battery. I'd love to see this ban worldwide.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:10 1

21. Mr_Hyde (Posts: 20; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


Tell that to the design teams at Apple, Nokia, Motorola, & HTC and see if they agree.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 20:25 1

12. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2189; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


I can dig it.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 21:19

14. jibraihimi (Posts: 695; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


Good decision......... I think they should also make it compulsory for all the OEM's to include microsd slots in the smartphones with 8/16 GB internal memory...........

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 21:48 1

15. ibap (Posts: 699; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


This is a great idea, both from an environmental standpoint and from a consumer standpoint. Why should you have to essentially buy a new device in order to replace a failing battery? And since you'll have to make a case that you can open and then close up again, how about removable SIM cards as well? (This last aimed at some of the new phones that have them embedded, which also goes against the European GSM systems.) And put a micro SD in there as well.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:48

25. jsdechavez (Posts: 706; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


A sealed design has advantages such as improved durability and the ability put in more parts. But yes, I don't pretty much life the fact that replacement options are nil when the warranty is over for these especially the cost, outrageous!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 22:52

26. tmcr7 (Posts: 154; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


I fully support removable batteries, but I believe that the consumers should be the one to decide if they want to buy a sealed device. Besides, if you need to replace the battery, you can always go to a repair center to have it opened without buying a new phone.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 23:59

27. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 819; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


Excellent :) they should be banned.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 01:13 1

28. groupsacc (Posts: 232; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Sealed battery = reduced product life = more sales.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories