Apple's iPad may be designed to go anywhere, but there's one place it's definitely not allowed: Yankee Stadium, which apparently banned the device out of nebulous "safety and security issues," according to reports. This is ironic considering that Yankee Stadium has a reputation of being particularly tech-friendly, with WiFi and even computer screens on players' lockers. Despite its popularity, the iPad has run into the occasional issue with regulators since its release, including Israeli authorities concerned about the device's WiFi strength.
Apple touts its iPad as the sort of device you can take
anywhere, but there's at least one place on earth where the tablets are
unwelcome: New York City's Yankee Stadium.
The ban at Yankee Stadium is
especially ironic given the complex's tech-friendly features, including
stadium-wide WiFi and, according to the Associated Press, players'
lockers that feature computer screens. Nonetheless, the iPad could fall
under the "no laptop computers" clause of the Yankee Stadium
Security Policies, not to mention one that bans "any other devices that may
interfere with and/or distract any sports participant, other patron, audio or
audio/visual telecast or recording of the game or any technology-related
Team representatives told the Associated Press that the iPad
ban was a "security-and-safety issue."
Despite the popularity of the iPad, which sold more than 1 million units within its first month of general
release, the device has run into the occasional regulatory concern. In April,
Israel's Communications Ministry banned the iPad, supposedly because its WiFi
was in non-compliance with the European wireless standards that Israel follows.
On April 25, however, Israeli officials reversed that
decision. "Following the completion of intensive technical scrutiny, Israel
Minister of Communications Moshe Kakhlon approved the import of [the] iPad to
Israel," the Communication Ministry wrote in a statement reprinted on Reuters
April 25. "Accordingly, the import of a single device per person will be
permitted commencing Sunday, April 25."
European standards dictate that a device's wireless signal
be weaker than is customarily allowed by the Federal
Communications Commission in the United States.
Israeli officials had previously complained that the iPad's strong signal could
potentially interfere with surrounding devices' wireless capabilities.
Thanks to the initial success of the iPad, analysts from
research firm IDC predict that worldwide media tablet shipments will see a
compound annual growth rate of 57.4 percent, for a total of 46 million units in
2014. That's a small but significant number compared to the 398 million
portable PCs that IDC expects to ship that same year.
"These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new
device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable PCs," IDC
analyst Susan Kevorkian wrote in a May 20 statement. "IDC expects consumer demand
for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible
third-party apps for content and devices."
Dell is reportedly prepping to rolled out its first tablet,
dubbed the Streak. Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturers are
widely expected to introduce iPad competitors sooner rather than later. Verizon
and Google are also supposedly working on a tablet, as is Sony. Whether these
devices can collectively take market share away from
the iPad is an open question, but whatever the
broader outcome, chances are none of them will be allowed in Yankee
Editor's Note: Information about the Dell Streak has been updated.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.