European Legislation May Allow for Replaceable iPhone Batteries

Have you ever replaced your old iPhone battery with a new one? It’s not an easy, frustrating, and expensive task. However, this may change soon.

The European Parliament has issued a recent ruling that aims to establish stricter regulations on the manufacturing and disposal of batteries found in devices like phones, tablets, and other mobile electronics. The key requirement is that manufacturers must make batteries removable and replaceable by users.

Before becoming a formal law, the ruling needs approval from the European Council. Even then, it would only apply to devices sold within the European Union. Nevertheless, such regulations often influence other regions. For instance, the EU’s legislation on device repairability inspired similar laws in the US and prompted companies like Apple and Samsung to launch their own repair programs. Another EU ruling may result in Apple finally selling iPhones with USB-C ports.

If this battery ruling goes through, it will particularly impact Apple. The company has a history of making its batteries difficult to replace and has faced criticism for issuing questionable battery service alerts to users attempting to repair their batteries.

The ruling also aims to ensure better management of battery waste and greater use of recycled components in battery production. Manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) batteries would be required to label the cells with their carbon footprint, indicating the resources used in their creation.

Micro Blizzard

Microsoft’s acquisition of the video game giant Activision Blizzard has faced obstacles and regulatory scrutiny since its announcement in January 2022. While it overcame a UK government blockage earlier this year, it is now facing challenges from the US Federal Communications Commission, leading to legal proceedings.

The proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft raises concerns among antitrust activists due to the significant market influence of the developer behind games like Diablo and Overwatch. Microsoft has previously acquired other game companies, such as ZeniMax (Bethesda’s parent company). Activision Blizzard has also faced its own issues with executive harassment and high workloads, resulting in executive shakeups and employee unions.

The companies are racing against a July 18 deadline to finalize the acquisition and avoid renegotiating the terms. If the FCC’s preliminary injunction succeeds, it will temporarily halt the merger, potentially impacting the deadline.

Shop the ’Tok

TikTok is exploring various shopping features on its platform. One of these experimental features is Trendy Beat, allowing users to purchase items they see in TikTok videos. Popular products on the platform can be promoted in a dedicated shopping section.

If you’re an active TikTok user, you’ll know that various items can go viral, ranging from mini waffle makers to sandals and beauty accessories. According to TechCrunch, the feature is currently being tested in the UK but may expand to the US in the future.

Just Take My Money

In the battle for retail dominance in the US, Amazon and Walmart compete for the title of the largest business behemoth. For the past couple of decades, these giants have been in a constant struggle, with Amazon gaining an advantage through its aggressive online offerings. However, the pandemic disrupted the landscape, affecting both online and in-person shopping. While Amazon faced challenges with increased demand and longer shipping times, Walmart capitalized on its physical stores to ensure greater availability than Amazon.

On WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast, journalist and author Jason Del Rey joins to discuss his new book, “Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets.”

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