If you’re visiting Israel anytime soon, you’re going to want to leave your iPad behind: the country has banned all iPad imports, even from tourists. If they find yours, they’ll confiscate it and charge you a storage fee. What?
The reasoning, according to Israeli spokesperson Nati Schubert, is that the FCC allows Wi-Fi broadcasting at higher levels than are standard in Europe and Israel. A sudden uptick in iPad usage, then, could use up too much bandwidth or interfere with other wireless devices:
“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, a senior deputy director for the Communications Ministry told AP. “We don’t care where people buy their equipment … but without regulation, you would have chaos.”
It’s not the first time that Israel has been standoffish towards Apple products: the iPad wasn’t officially allowed until December of last year. The reasoning for the delay was the same. But this seems to be a pretty extreme pre-emptive measure for a product that isn’t exactly ubiquitous.
According to the AP, a resolution to the problem is expected by the time the iPad gets its international launch . In the meantime, 10 iPads have already been confiscated, with the owners given the choice between paying a daily storage fee or shipping the device back home on their own dime. [AP via PC World]