A startup from the US makes possible what Apple does not want: to replace the batteries of the first and second generation AirPods.
With regular use, the battery of the AirPods wears out after about 18 to 24 months and the AirPods become electronic waste. At Apple, the replacement of the battery costs around $100. However, Apple does not actually change the batteries, but simply throws away the old AirPods and gives you new ones. In principle, a kind of electronic scrap subscription.
Two founders didn’t want to put up with this any longer: Emma and Emily founded Podswap, a startup that now makes it possible to change the batteries of the first and second generation AirPods. You don’t necessarily get your original AirPods back in the process, as any that are sent in are taken apart, cleaned, fitted with a new battery and then sent back to you. So it’s a nice example of where the economy is probably bound to go in the future: namely, the recyclability and repair of existing products.
The process is highly automated to keep the price around $60. It sounds fair, worthwhile, and leads to greater sustainability. If you’d like to see the process in full when it’s done by hand, check out the video above. Perhaps the offer will also be extended to the AirPods Pro when many of them have defective batteries.
ifixit tried this service once and is also enthusiastic. It might also be an option for many users who do not realize that they can throw away the AirPods after two years. The service is currently only available in the US.