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 service.”
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 Stadium.
Editor’s Note: Information about the Dell Streak has been updated.