A new European Union rule could spell the end to the iPod's pesky integrated batteries. The EU's proposed "New Batteries Directive," which mandates that batteries in electronic appliances need to be "readily removed" would force Apple to change the iPod's design for the European market.
The requirement was written to help consumers dispose properly of batteries, which could end up leaking toxins into landfills. Since Apple tends not to develop unique products for specific regions, it would most likely revamp its entire iPod line if the directive goes through.
That having been said, the directive hasn't been ratified yet, and there's still a chance for Apple to ask for an exemption or modification. The company already offers free recycling for its ipods and iphones, and supports third-party waste management as well. [Apple Insider]