Nearly all mobile electronics need batteries to power them and up until recently those batteries have more or less been replaceable by the consumer. It has only been in recent years where manufactures have begun to design mobile devices and laptops with batteries that are not intended to be replaced. It is not that they are impossible to be replaced, but more of an intentional design by the manufacturer to keep the consumer from being able to replace it themselves.
Why are manufacturers making batteries more difficult for consumers to replace?
The most widely accepted reason for batteries being more difficult to replace is “planned obsolescence”. Planned obsolescence is the notion that the original manufacturer of a device has been designed to internally fail, in order to sell the next generation device. Apple has been widely criticised for adopting this philosophy when designing their smartphones. It's not against the law to practice planned obsolescence and it does result in more profits for the manufacturer. The only losers of planned obsolescence are the consumers who are forced to purchase the newest model and the environment, due to the amount of carbon emissions created and resources used to mine and manufacture the components that go into these devices.
What do phone makers do to make these batteries hard to replace?
Making batteries difficult to replace is only one of the many ways manufacturers are forcing consumers to purchase their latest model. Everything from stopping software support on past devices, making them run slower, or making them more prone to breaking when dropped.
As far as making the batteries difficult to replace, phone makers typically do this by making the device more difficult to open in the first place. Strong glue and proprietary screws are very common on most new smartphones and tablets. More recently Apple has even gone as far to “pair” the iphone battery to the device. This means that only Apple can change these batteries without the software giving you an error that your battery may not be original. It has been confirmed that any battery (even original) will not pair to these new devices without apple doing the replacement themselves. Makers will also leverage their warranty as a scare tactic of stopping you from opening the device you now own. Lawmakers have recently been making this tactic illegal, with such movements as “right to repair” in Canada and the U.S.A.
How easy is it to replace these newer batteries?
With the proper tools these batteries can be easily replaced by anyone who has the patience to get past some of these security features designed to keep you out of the device. Proper screwdrivers that fit these proprietary screws can be purchased from a company called “ifixit”.
You will also likely need a heat gun to melt away the mounds of glue most of these devices are enclosed with. You will also need to re-seal the device once open. We recommend B7000 type glue, which is water resistant and heat activated (allowing you back into the device if needed). Also make sure you use the best quality batteries available.
Our batteries come from the number one supplier of smartphone parts, Mobilesentix. These batteries are only available to repair stores such as the Cell Clinic, so it's always best to take your phone to a professional if unable to access quality batteries. Doing so will provide you with a warranty on the work done. Cell Clinic gives a 6 month warranty on battery replacements. Cell Clinic does stock most of the common smartphone batteries, but if we do not have it in stock we can likely order it in.
If attempting a battery replacement on your own, please be very careful, as of the lithium battery can be punctured resulting it to burst into flames. Please reach out to Cell Clinic anytime if you have any questions on replacing a battery on a mobile device or Macbook laptop.
About Cell Clinic (cellclinic.ca)
Cell Clinic is British Columbia's premier pre-owned mobile sales and service company (with locations in Vancouver & Surrey) — a family-owned business with a dedicated team of professionals that have earned a solid reputation for delivering friendly and trusted service. Cell Clinic strives to provide the absolute highest level of service in the pre-owned mobile device (& more) repair/sales industry. Visit who we are to learn more.