Israel has forbidden travelers from bringing iPads into the country, saying the device’s wireless technology could interfere with or overpower other products already in operation there.
The Ministry of Communications declared the ban earlier this week. “The iPad’s Wi-Fi wireless technology was built to the U.S. standard, which allows stronger signals than those allowed in Europe and Israel,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
That means the iPad’s wireless signal strength violates Israeli law, which makes operating the device in country illegal. Ministry spokesman Yechiel Shavi says once the device is built to comply with European standards, the ban will be reversed.
But technology analyst Richard Doherty is skeptical. He says the Wi-Fi chip used in the iPad is an industry standard. “If they’re paranoid about the iPad then they should be paranoid about BlackBerrys and the iPhone.”
He went on to tell the The Wall Street Journal that because of the iPad’s small antenna and aluminum casing, the signal is actually weaker than devices of similar size.
Techies in Israel feel slighted. Especially after hearing rumors that the iPad was banned because the Israeli military feared the “strong” signal would interfere with their technology.
Apple only recently established a presence in Israel. Their first official store opened in Tel Aviv in January 2009.