Eight percent of the smartphones in use in Germany are older than 24 months, he says Statistics from Bitkom Industry Association As of February 2021. Means: Smartphones in Germany are still very old – even if consumers say in surveys that sustainability is an important factor for them when purchasing a mobile phone.
Several factors stand in the way of this. One of the things politicians want to tackle more forcefully in the future is the fixability of smartphones. In the case of smartphones in particular, the battery is often an argument for buying a new one. After several years of constant charging and discharging, the device becomes increasingly weaker and the device does not need to be connected to electricity once, but several times a day.
Politicians want replaceable batteries – Samsung doesn’t
One strategy that both EU and German lawmakers are pursuing in combating e-waste is to demand more standard and more repairable devices from manufacturers. Specifically: if a cell phone becomes worn out, consumers should be able to modify the battery rather than having to purchase a brand new one. This is not possible with the currently permanently installed batteries.
The fact that the manufacturers did not want to give in to political plans emerged without a fight in the Bundestag on Wednesday. In a hearing on a government project to reform the Electrical Equipment Law, Samsung representative Andreas Beck warned of disadvantages for customers and the environment if Germany makes replaceable batteries mandatory.
“We will have to develop products for German. It will automatically be more difficult,” said Samsung Electronic, Service Manager. According to HeiseThis should entice customers to order from abroad. In this case, Samsung will also have to use more materials in production compared to permanently installed batteries, and the protection of dust and water inside a cell phone is less guaranteed.
Expert: Chunkier, yeah, but not an extreme
It appears to have a lot of disadvantages for the customer as well as for the environment. Wolfgang Buller, head of the testing center at the medium-sized specialist Chip, attributes warnings from Samsung experts. “If you want interchangeable batteries like the Nokia 3210, this would be the best option for users to simply replace the battery themselves. However, the device will usually be thicker if the battery capacity is too low, it should remain the same,” Pauler told BR24, but the thing is About millimeters more than a return to the thickness of previous generations of cell phones.
“The second alternative would be replaceable batteries, which can be replaced with little effort, but need not necessarily be taken to a specialized workshop. In terms of space, I will classify this alternative between permanently installed batteries and replaceable batteries,” the chip expert explains. On the other hand, the material cost of cell phones with easily interchangeable batteries should not necessarily be significantly higher, especially with the second alternative. Bowler says protection from splashing water and dust is also possible with seals and screw connections instead of glue, but it will make the devices a little thicker.
In short: the engineers from Samsung and Co. , Who, according to the experience of the chip test center, are already fighting for every cubic millimeter inside when developing cell phones, they will actually have to adapt. Slightly thicker smartphones could be a result – depending on the variant of change. However, the return of the massive cellphone bones from the past millennium does not seem to be scary.
The manufacturers are just one factor
In general, the interchangeable battery for smartphones and other devices is only one aspect of the initiatives currently planned against e-waste. There are also new species in Germany The rules for restoring old equipment to discuss.
The request also comes from the European Union ParliamentTo provide electrical appliances with a kind of better history before it makes it easier for customers to purchase sustainable products. MEPs also want to see the right to repair and standardize parts. There is also a suggestion to use national campaigns to encourage citizens to use the devices for a longer period.
In any discussion of technology manufacturers, the human or consumer factor is a point that should not be underestimated. Often times, the reason for a new purchase is the lack of durability or repair capacity, especially when it comes to cell phones. In a study by TU Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute As of 2019, 67% of respondents said they purchased a new cell phone, although the old phone is still working. As an incentive, they trigger, for example, the desire for more performance, the enjoyment of new technology, or the desire to innovate.