A new European Union directive could see Apple forced to make the replaceable batteries for its iPhone.

In a move that is sure to win the support of grumbling iPhone users, a new EU rule, which is part of wider bid to make electronics more eco friendly, may force a change for the Apple device.

In 2006, the EU introduced the Battery Directive, which, according to AppleInsider, "sought to prevent the unnecessary use of toxic metals in batteries and attempted to make it easier to properly dispose of and recycle old batteries".

EU member states had to meet the objectives set out in this directive by September 2008.

But now this directive could be updated.

The current ruling says that it must be easy for consumers to remove batteries from electronic products, but an addition, which is now being drafted, says that electrical equipment must be designed to allow that batteries be "readily removed" for replacement or removal at the end of product's life.

Gary Nevison, writing for New Electronics explains: "The requirement is clearly intended to ensure that users can remove batteries by opening a cover by hand or after removal of one or two screws. The producer will also have to provide the user with details on how to remove the battery safely".

Apple offers free recycling for iPods and iPhones, but if this directive comes into force, it may be forced to finally make its batteries removeable.