Why is the Apple iPad banned in Israel?

While most of the world is going crazy over Apple’s mobile internet device called the iPad, the Israeli government has wen to the complete opposite and banned the device in their country.

Here’s an explanation as reported by Ha’aretz:

the decision follows the refusal of the ministry’s engineering staff to compromise on testing the device’s suitability and compliance with Israeli wireless networks… For now, the ministry has not given the device categorical approval required for wireless devices; and ministry officials say its wireless technology is not compatible with Israeli standards.

“The iPad device sold exclusively today in the United States operates at broadcast power levels [over its Wifi modem] compatible with American standards,” explained the officials. “As the Israeli regulations in the area of Wifi are similar to European standards, which are different from American standards, which permit broadcasting at lower power, therefore the broadcast levels of the device prevent approving its use in Israel,” said the officials.

So the iPad is banned because it follows American standards with regards to its WiFi specification in contrast to the “European standards” followed by Israel?

Then by the same logic, shouldn’t American-made laptops and netbooks be also banned in Israel? But so far, no such thing has happened yet. So what gives?

The Israel Tech blog goes deeper into this issue pointing out that the iPad’s BroadComm BCM4329 Low-Power 802.11n with Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR and FM (Tx and Rx) chipset, which uses the relatively new 802.11n specification, could be the culprit. They also point out that this same chipset is used in Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch but these are not banned in Israel.

Talk about bizarre things that happen because of a new gadget. Hopefully, Apple and the Israeli government would soon resolve this issue before it gets any weirder.

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