... or at least imports thereof from America.
The Communications Ministry announced Tuesday that it was imposing a blanket ban on the import of Apple's new tablet computer, the iPad, citing incompatibility with the European Wi-Fi standard, which is used in Israel. For this reason, several such computers have been confiscated by customs officials at Ben-Gurion Airport. Eden Bar Tal, director of the Communications Ministry, defends the ban.
The public is angry following your ban on importing the iPad. Why didn't you announce this earlier? The ban was only revealed when several of the devices were confiscated by customs officials.
The ministry does not deal in brands and packaging. In this case, customs identified the import of a wireless device, and it had to determine whether it was appropriate for Israel. It's true that there is something exotic about the name iPad, but this changes nothing. The goal is that all citizens enjoy the use of wireless networks in this country; importation of a device which is not suited to local standards is likely to cause them harm. Apple itself decided to postpone the release of the iPad into international markets. These are Apple's business decisions and not ours. We are concerned with one thing only: that no wireless technology will trample the wireless connections of other users. If the iPad meets the standards set in Europe, everyone will be able to enjoy them, and we won't be forced to block their entry.
Anyone want to explain this for technological neophytes such as I? I was under the impression that WiFi is an IEEE standard and that as such products adhering to that standard would be interoperable regardless of their region of origin?