The European Union passed a directive that will require all smartphones sold in the EU to have batteries that can be easily removed and replaced by users starting in 2027. This means that popular phone models like the Samsung Galaxy S series will need to be redesigned to allow customers to swap out the battery on their own.
The new EU rule aims to cut down on electronic waste and introduce a more circular economy when it comes to batteries. By making batteries easily replaceable, the hope is that users will be able to simply swap in a new battery when the old one loses capacity instead of having to dispose of the entire phone.
Currently, most modern smartphones like the latest Samsung Galaxy models have batteries that are glued in and not intended for user replacement. Special tools and expertise are usually required to open up the phone and properly replace the battery. This makes repairing the phones difficult for average customers.
The EU directive changes this by mandating that batteries must be able to be removed by users without any special tools or skills. Phone manufacturers will need to rethink their product designs to incorporate replaceable batteries while still retaining features like water resistance and fast charging capabilities.
For Samsung, this represents a major shift from how its flagship phones are currently designed. Recent models like the Samsung flagship Galaxy S series feature a sleek glass-and-metal sandwich design with IP68 water and dust resistance ratings. To comply with the new rules, Samsung will need to bring back removable rear covers and swappable battery packs like it used on older Galaxy models.
The removable batteries will likely be proprietary and only compatible with certain Samsung phone models. However, the EU rules also require that manufacturers make batteries available for purchase for up to 5 years after the last unit of a phone model is sold. So Galaxy owners should have official Samsung battery replacements readily accessible.
While the requirement for user-replaceable batteries will force changes in phone design, it promotes sustainability and gives more control to consumers when it comes to device repair and maintenance. For Samsung and all other phone brands selling in Europe, the removable battery mandate will lead to major revisions in how their most popular products are engineered starting in 2027 and beyond.