Batteries in smartphones are the subject of a new EU law: smartphones must have user-replaceable batteries by 2027.

Last week, the European Parliament approved new rules covering many forms of rechargeable batteries. For “portable batteries,” which includes the batteries in smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other hand-held devices, the new rules dictate that consumers must be able to “easily remove and replace them.” It specifies that consumers must be able to do this, not technicians, meaning many phone manufacturers have four years to drastically redesign the way they make phones.

Apple will be the most obviously affected by this switch. From the very first iPod to the current generation of iPhone, all of their products have had the batteries sealed away. It takes specialist tools and knowledge to crack an Apple product and access the battery, let alone replace it. If they wish to maintain a presence in the EU market, they will have to undergo a drastic redesign. They’ve already had to redesign their phones for the EU once, with the mandate that all smartphones use the USB-C port instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning port.

Members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly endorsed the new rules, with 587 votes in favor, only nine against, and 20 abstentions. As for next steps, the European Council “will now have to formally endorse the text before its publication in the EU Official Journal and shortly after its entry into force.” The law goes into effect in early 2027, but the EU could delay it if manufacturers demonstrate they need more time in order to change how they install batteries in smartphones. But they have several years of warning, a year longer than it took the iPhone 14 to go from design to the shelves.

The new laws also stipulate targets for recycling rechargeable batteries, both in small devices and in electric vehicles, and require a certain percentage of recycled content to be used in new batteries.