Look I’m not a massive fan of legislation dictating every thing that goes on around us, but let’s all agree the change to USB-C for iPhone is a big win for everyone – one cable for all! But ask yourself this question – do you want to be able to remove the battery in your phone? Like the good old days?

The European Union doesn’t care what you think, they care about the environmental impact of batteries and they’re introducing new rules over the coming years to shake things up.

There are actually a couple of bits of legislation that will overlap, but the bottom line – Smartphone companies need to make batteries better (last longer, hold their charge better), and they have to make them replaceable.

And no, we’re not talking about the “right to repair” which Apple now support through the availability of genuine parts to authorised repairers. We’re talking about you buying a new battery and popping the old one out and the new one in while sitting at your kitchen table.

Depending in the specific legislation, that either needs to happen with no tools, or with no special tools. Either way, it’s very different to today.

Apple and Samsung both were unable to provide comment for this story, but there’s one company that’s happy to be at the forefront of this discussion. Nokia.

Through HMD Global, the company which makes Nokia phones, their Marketing boss Lars Silberbauer told EFTM “We welcome the decision by the European Union that will require batteries to be easily replaced in smartphones in the coming years. As a company already leading the way globally in self-repairability, we see everyday the benefits this can deliver to consumers mindful of both cost and waste, and how this can also lead to significant benefits to the environment over time. This decision also ensures self-repair and e-waste reduction remain front and centre of smartphone innovation enabling people to keep their phone for longer.

Genius really. Now there’s a chance Nokia made this pivot to repairability with the potential EU legislation in mind, no matter what the case, the 587 to 9 vote in favour of new battery legislation makes it clear : “A portable battery shall be considered readily removable by the end-user where it can be removed from a product with the use of commercially available tools, without requiring the use of specialised tools, unless provided free of charge with the product, proprietary tools, thermal energy, or solvents to disassemble the product.”

You realise it’s been nine years since Samsung’s flagship S series phone had a removable battery? Apple’s iPhone has never had that.

And there’s one strong reason why we have what we have today – Reliability.

That comes from a strong water and dust proof rating that modern phones have. At the same time, the ability to split your battery into separate cells means it can be placed around the phone to save space and thickness, something a single removable battery will interfere with.

We already know – almost for certain – that the iPhone 15 will have USB-C charging, thanks to other EU legislation, so the question is, what will the Samsung Galaxy S 26 and 27 look like? or the iPhone 18 and 19?

They will be very different.