Israel Bans Apple iPad

Published: April 15th 2010
in News » Israel

Pic: WikiMedia Commons

The Israeli government has temporarily banned all imports of the iPad, Apple’s latest multi-functional touch-screen gadget, because its wireless frequencies are not compatible with Israel’s national standards.


According to, Israel’s Communications Ministry had said on Tuesday that the iPad does not work with the standard European WiFi connection, which is used in Israel.


On Wednesday, Apple announced that it would delay the launch of the iPad anywhere outside the U.S. by one month, though international consumers will be able to pre-order the iPad on May 10, the same day Apple plans to unveil its international pricing plans.


According to Associated Press reports, customs officials have already confiscated 10 iPads since the ban in Israel took effect earlier this week. The ban prevents anyone, even tourists, from bringing the iPad into Israel, until confirmation that the computers comply with local Israeli WiFi standards. 


Israel’s Communications Ministry Director, Eden Bar Tal, had said that there was no way that travellers could have been warned sooner, due to lack of details from the Apple Corporation. Bar Tal is not worried, however, that there will soon be a version of iPad compatible with European wireless transmitter specifications.


When asked if banning the electronic device can be seen as damaging to individual human rights, Bar Tal ensured Haaretz that “The individual benefits from the fact that we regulate the importation of transmission devices so that it does no harm to general use.”


Still, there are some who claim that iPad’s delay puts Israel behind the United States regarding development of applications for the device, and thus behind in the technological market. “Competition is what suits consumers,” Bar Tal added. “Marketing in the absence of competition will not work in their favour.”


It is because of this that Israel’s Communications Ministry is not especially worried about falling behind in the supposed race for technological superiority.


According to Bar Tal, “because cellular companies know that we can intervene within six months, they will consider whether it is worth their while to delay the process. And even in the slowest forecast, we are talking about months and not years.”

Related articles: (iPad, Israeli government, Communications Ministry)
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