EU's e-waste laws and Apple


Not sure if there was already a thread on this or not… figured I’d start one.

The EU have mandated that phone manufacturers adopt USB C for charging. This means Apple’s next iPhone will likely feature a USB-C port instead of lightning. This will probably be the new design worldwide rather than only in EU - but who knows what Apple has planned.

Now, there is new legislation being planned in the EU to force phone makers to use easily replaceable batteries.

Considering a lot of ‘average’ users get a new phone rather than replace the battery - this would be huge for saving on e-waste - particularly now as phones offer less and less “new” things.

Will be interesting to see if it comes into force or not, and how Apple responds, as no doubt it would be a big hit to their sales.

My main concern with the user replacable battery concept is maintaining water resistance ratings. I owned at one point a Samsung S5, which had a water resistence rating and a user replacable battery.

Mine failed from water ingress after replacing the battery and so did many other phones, with zero warranty come back.

The system they used should have been rated IP54 not IP57 (I really don’t want new iPhones with IP54 rather than the current IP57/58).

I appreciate we don’t want to go back to the old days of - Ohgod my phone’s in my pocket! - when you’ve jumped in the swimming pool.

There’s plenty of pro “right to repair” people saying that there are phones out there that can currently do this - an easily replaceable battery, that is waterproof. And I’m sure if Apple had to do it - they’d work out a solution.

This of course however would directly hit their sales, now that they’ve pushed so many people into the pattern of buying a new iPhone every 2-3 years. (Encouraged by the phone co’s with 2 year contracts - a lot of people at that point upgrade rather than go off contract.)

But in terms of the iPhone’s lifespan - excluding battery issues - they would be like most Apple gear - quite long lived. Apple couldn’t charge the prices they did if the devices literally died after 2 years, certainly couldn’t sell them in Australia with our consumer protections.

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I just had to get a “new” phone after breaking the screen on my first gen SE. (the raised lip on the case had saved it in many drops from my pocket before, but this time there was a pebble on the concrete…)
So, after deciding not to pay $700+ for a new SE/3 I bought a second-hand SE/2 for $240 with a new battery pre-installed. - Can confirm its new alright because battery health reports 100% capacity, it lasts a couple of days before recharge and can provide high power draw right down to empty - unlike the old SE that became unreliable once showing 30% charge remaining.
So, theoretically you could do this every year for the same cost as a new phone every 3 years. I’m well ahead if I get only 2 years out of the SE/2.

So, there is a well established “recycling” or “rebirthing” pathway out there to avoid waste.
I need a phone and use a handful of apps on it, even started using wallet recently with my electronic credit card and its dynamic CVV for online use, but would still prefer to type texts with the Messages app on my MBP - if you get my drift that its really just a phone, ok and a quick access camera too for me with a few other add ons
Maybe the texting thing is just because of my 60+yo big fat fingers though…

Also had to replace my wife’s 6 recently with an SE/1 for just $95 (90% battery health there) because our bank’s App won’t run on its limit of IOS 12.

So, the electronics keep going, it’s just physical damage and battery fatigue that are creating more e waste, - as well as that whole generation of folk with an appetite for new shiny toys.

We have kept iPhones for years. We just ask Apple to replace the battery when it starts to cause problems. The last time cost $78 from memory. They had the phone for about 90 minutes. We have not had any issues afterwards. It is so much cheaper than buying a new phone, and it saves the time spent having to set up a new phone.

They already have a self service repair option for modern iPhones.
It will be interesting whether they can twist this program to adhere to the EU directives or if they will need to make major changes.

The self service repair is a joke from everything I’ve seen about it. It costs a small fortune because you are basically paying a security deposit for the machinery, and to someone inexperienced, it’s a pretty daunting task. Your “average” person is not going to do this. The EU wants it to be as simple as a couple of screws… So whilst this repair option sounds great, in reality it isn’t.

I know there’s a big second hand market for iPhones - I’ve bought a few myself - but there’s also so much dodgy, it’s hard to know you’re getting something that’s genuine Aussie stock, and not going to have problems. Battery would be my #1 concern when buying 2nd hand… and the bigger issue is - Apple eventually stop selling batteries, so then you have to go 3rd party anyway. But if you could walk into Kmart and buy a battery for a bunch of different phones for $30, pop a few screws and have your otherwise healthy piece of tech go for another 2 years…

There is a lot of “dirty” at the moment on Apple making iPhone (and Macs, etc) repairs so difficult for little discernible reason other than forcing you to get repairs done by them (or their approved affiliates). Even if you could do the repairs yourself (sourcing things from 3rd parties) - you can’t - because features lock up if you replace them.

Even replacing batteries tends to stuff up the battery gauge.

It’s all in an effort to push customers toward the next model… and fill up the ewaste bins.

I’ve used this mob a couple of times before, both times they sent me a satchel and I put the phone in it and mailed it back to them (free of cost).

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Fully aware Apple’s program is ridiculous. Hoping it doesn’t become a get out of jail free card. Would love to be able to buy a replacement battery and easily slap it in a phone like we used to be able to.