The European Union is readying a new set of directives that could have an impact on Apple and other manufacturers future products. Specifically, a new draft batteries directive, which mandates that power cells inside electronic devices must be readily removable for replacement and safe disposal. The iPhone, iPod and even the MacBook Air don't fit that mold.
Apple requires owners to send back their iPhones and iPods to the company for a battery replacement. If approved, however, the new directive could force the company to redesign its products to meet the criteria in Europe. Interestingly, it could also mean that products globally would see the same features since it would make no sense to build and market products with two different designs.
Then again, as AppleInsider notes, the idea behind the directive is to keep gadgets from being sent to landfills or recycled with the battery inside, so the EU might let Apple off the hook if the company proves that its battery replacement program prevents that from happening.