Should the iPhone Have a Removable Battery? The EU Says Yes!

iPhone Power!

The European Union is known to be a little more hard core than North American regulators. Just ask Microsoft about their Windows monopoly fines, or Apple about iTunes pricing and DRM. Now, however, Apple Insider reports that the EU might just be getting ready to fire another shot across Apple's bow with a "New Batteries Directive" that says power cells must be "readily removable":

Gary Nevison, writing for New Electronics, said [PDF] "the requirement is clearly intended to ensure that users can remove batteries by opening a cover by hand or after removal of one or two screws. The producer will also have to provide the user with details on how to remove the battery safely."

Of course, Apple and their design guru, Jonathan Ive, have long weighed the extra juice -- and clean lines -- of a single, integrated unit, so this may cause no end of frustrations in Cupertino. (Though the iPhone 3G does, of course, sport two new screws at the bottom, the battery removable process could still never be mistaken for "ready").

What do you think? Removable batteries a plus for consumers and the environment? Or a harbinger of less sleek, less iconic iPhone designs? Is it better to look good, or be good?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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