Israel Bans Imports, Tourist Use of Apple iPad: Poaches Bandwith
Israel announced today that it will ban the use of Apple's iPad, saying its widespread use of wireless technology could interfere with other wireless devices in the area. Officials say the touch screen tablet uses too much bandwidth.
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Ten of the devices have already been confiscated by customs officials. Until officials certify that the device's transmissions meet standards already set by the area, no one is allowed to bring them into the country... even tourists.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission allows Wi-Fi broadcasting at higher power levels than are allowed in Europe and Israel — meaning that the iPad's stronger signal could throw off others' wireless connections.
The senior deputy director for the Communications Ministry was quoted by the Associated Press, stating that "without regulation, you would have chaos."
Israel Only Country to Officially Ban iPad
Although other European countries have similar wireless laws, Israel is the first country to officially ban imports of the product.
Officials say that it is simply a precautionary move, and has nothing to do with a ban of trade. They hope the confusion will be cleared up by the time the product ships internationally at the end of May.
Apple has already pushed back international sales of the iPad by a month, due to a high volume of initial sales in the US. Although some areas have banned cell phones for use during driving, the current iPad ban seems to be the first of its type.
In the meantime, confiscated iPads will be held by customs — for a daily storage fee — until their owners depart the country or ship the gadgets back to the U.S. at their own expense.