After launching to positive reviews and sold-out Apple Stores across the U.S., the iPad has finally met a force it can't win over: the Israeli government.
Apple's new tablet has been banned in Israel over concerns about the iPad's Wi-Fi technology, which conflicts with the country's wireless standards. Because the device operates at higher broadcast levels than are typically allowed in Israel, the government is concerned that iPads will consume too much Wi-Fi capacity and disrupt other wireless devices. The Israeli government updated its wireless regulations this week, and it has yet to test and approve the iPad's Wi-Fi transmitter technology.
As a result of Israel's ban, the government has started confiscating all iPads entering the country, even those owned by visiting tourists. According to a report by The Associated Press, Israeli customs officials have already confiscated approximately 10 of the new tablets, which the government will store -- for a fee -- and return to tourists upon their departure from the country.
"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 the AP. "We don't care where people buy their equipment. But without regulation, you would have chaos."
Ironically, the iPad's biggest complaint since its launch nearly two weeks ago has been over weak and inconsistent Wi-Fi connections. Apple acknowledged the Wi-Fi issues and offered some fixes, and pinpointed much of the problem on dual-band routers.
Despite the complaints about its Wi-Fi capability, the iPad has sold more than 500,000 units in the week since its high-profile launch April 3. While Israeli and European wireless standards are similar, Israel is the only country to actively ban the device and block all imports and sales of the iPad.