Apple's iPad is no longer banned in Israel, after that country's Communications Ministry apparently decided that the tablet PC's wireless ability doesn't violate the European wireless standards that Israel follows. Online reports indicate that the iPads confiscated by Israeli customs have been released to their owners. Previously, Israeli officials had claimed that the iPad's wireless signal would interfere with other devices, a claim apparently disputed by some experts. While Apple has enjoyed strong iPad sales, demand for the device has delayed its international rollout.
Apple iPad owners can now enter Israel
without fearing the device will be confiscated. The tablet PC had previously
been banned due to its WiFi capability, according to Israel's
Communications Ministry, being in noncompliance with the European wireless
standards that Israel
According to Reuters, the 20 iPads confiscated by Israeli customs have been
released to their owners. Previous reports had indicated some 10 iPads seized at
Israeli's borders, to be kept under lock and key until the owners either left
the country or mailed them back home.
"Following the completion of intensive technical scrutiny, Israel
Minister of Communications Moshe Kakhlon approved the import of [the] iPad to Israel,"
the Communications Ministry wrote in a statement reprinted on
Reuters on 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. Previously, Israeli officials
claimed that the iPad's stronger signal would hinder other devices' wireless
"If you operate equipment in a frequency band which is different from the
others that operate on that frequency band, then there will be interference,"
Nati Schubert, senior deputy director for the Communications Ministry, told the
Associated Press April 15. "Without regulation, you would have chaos."
In between that initial ban and its lifting, however, the Communications
Ministry apparently met with Apple and a variety of independent consultants,
who collectively decided that the iPad could indeed operate in accordance with Israel's
initial ban had been met with confusion from some quarters. "If they're
paranoid about the iPad, then they should be paranoid about BlackBerrys and the
iPhone," Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group, told
The Wall Street Journal on April 17
The iPad proved a massive seller following its April 3 release, delivering
more than 500,000 units during its first week. During an April 8 news
conference at Apple's Cupertino, Calif.,
headquarters, CEO Steve Jobs announced that
around 600,000 iBooks and 3.5 million applications had been downloaded by iPad
owners. The interest in the device, however, has led to pressures on Apple's
sales channel, with preorders for the international version of the iPad delayed
due to high demand.
The 3G-enabled iPad will ship by May 7 for customers ordering now from
Apple's Website. Those who ordered the iPad 3G soon after Apple's initial
opening of preorders are on schedule to receive their devices sometime in late