Last year, Apple gave some iPhone fans exactly what they had been longing for. A huge bump in battery capacity for the iPhone 11 series allows users to make it through a day of heavy usage with some juice left over. The addition of an ultra-wide camera also made many happy as did Apple's use of computational photography via the addition of Deep Fusion. The latter helps the iPhone 11 series deliver sharper images with less noise. It works by combining nine different exposures of a photo (four short, four secondary and the regular long exposure). In one second, the neural engine on the A13 Bionic chip analyzes 24 million pixels to put together the best combination possible.
European iPhone users could end up carrying freshly charged batteries in their pockets
Apple also pleased the faithful by making the new handsets sturdier and more water-resistant. For example, the iPhone 11 Pro models can be submerged in up to 13-feet of water for as long as 30 minutes. But one thing that the iPhone has never had happens to be one thing that the European Union (EU) might try to force Apple to design into future iPhone and iPad models and that is a removable battery.
Remember the old days when you used to carry around a spare battery or two for your smartphone? These extra batteries were all charged up, fresh and ready to take over the job of keeping your device running; extended batteries were available with larger capacities, although they tended to made a phone look and feel much thicker in the hand. We recall how the Motorola DROID, the model that kicked off Androidmania in November 2009, allowed users to pin the needle on the battery meter with a quick change. Of course, battery capacity was a lot smaller in those days (only 1400mAh for the DROID). As recently as 2014, Samsung's television ad for the Galaxy S5 showed how owners of that model could swap out their spent battery for a charged one while iPhone users were stuck looking for an available outlet.
According to Dutch site Het Financieele Dagblad (via AppleInsider), a leak has revealed that the EU wants smartphone manufacturers to equip their phones and tablets with removable batteries. This would allow an iPhone, for example, to last longer thus generating less "electronic waste." Actually, it isn't clear exactly what the EU has in mind. Its proposal could be as simple as demanding that Apple make it easier to replace dying iPhone or iPad batteries via a service call. Or the EU can demand that Apple allow its customers to have access to an iPhone's battery so they can swap out the part themselves. And since any new regulation would cover the entire industry, all smartphone manufacturers would have to redesign their devices, possibly eliminating features that we take for granted such as water resistance.
The proposals will reportedly be announced in the middle of next month by Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission's "Green Deal." Other proposals will be presented at the same time including one relating to the recycling of older devices. Since EU regulations only affect the European continent, any forced change to smartphone design could result in special models offered only in the EU. This would result in some hefty costs for manufacturers who are likely to fight back against this proposal.
You might recall that last month, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the creation of one standard charger for all mobile devices. The resolution asks that the European Commission draft a law removing the obligation that consumers have to purchase a new charger every time they buy a new device. This resolution would also create less electronic waste if it becomes law.