Single charging standards is something that has been in place for a while with smartphones, and despite plenty of tablets being on the same connection type as smartphone devices, there isn't a standard in place for them. Some tablets are still using proprietary connection types while smartphones are all using micros USB.Minus the iPhone of course) This might be that big of a deal to some but for most it's more of a hassle and can end up being more expensive having to deal with separate charging connections for your smartphones and tablets. The European Union Parliament is attempting to change this by setting in place and approving for the charging standard to be extended to tablets as well as smartphones.
What this would accomplish would be getting all smartphones and tablets within the EU to support a micro USB charging port. While this is definitely good news for consumers, the end result of this decision is still some good time away from the current moment. Member countries of the European Union have a full two years to get the legislation for the charging standard to pass. If the EU member countries are even able to get the standard internalized, manufacturers have an additional year of their own past the EU's two year term to get all the changes made. This means that even if the charging ports for tablets are defined to the standard that smartphones currently have, it could still be an entire three years before we see any tangible changes made. That doesn't mean however that it will take three years, that's just assuming the maximum amount of time. If the legislation passes the standard in 6 months, than OEMs have a year from that particular point.
The obvious reasoning behind this is savings, but there are other benefits as I stated above. Having one type of charger connection to support all your smartphones and tablets is definitely easier than having one or two types of cables. According to the ALDEgroup, they estimate that European consumers are throwing away 300 million euros worth of chargers annually, to replace ones they could have used with a new type of connection once they swap out devices. Not only is this costing them more money, it's also bad for the environment. By holding the OEMs to a universal standard for charging ports on all smartphones and tablets within the EU, consumers can save more money and do less to harm environment by tossing out unused electronics. Apple so far is the only manufacturer that refuses to change to a standardized universal connection type for charging and data, but they have made an offer that will hopefully comply with European parliament to offer an external adapter with devices to consumers.