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Israel’s iPad ban: tech phobia or protectionism?

Israel’s iPad ban: tech phobia or protectionism?

Israel has banned iPad imports. Could that have anything to do with the fact that Nehemia Peres, son of the Israeli president, owns the exclusive distribution rights for Apple products?

April 20, 2010 1:06 by

Israel’s Communications Ministry last week announced it has banned Apple’s hottest new product, the iPad tablet computer. So far, more than twenty iPad lovers had their new toy confiscated at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Why? The ministry’s claim is that iPad’s wireless receivers and transmitters are incompatible with national standards, and could disrupt other wireless devices.

But that explanation is raising eyebrows around the world, with interested observers and angry iPad fans wondering if there’s more to this than suggested by the official party line.

Some conspiracy theorists suggest that Israel’s government fears a security breach. After all, Israel permits Blackberries and iPhones, both with WiFi technology built in. Does the iPad have some kind of magical ability to tap into Israeli government networks?

Or is it all far less intriguing than all this? Could the iPad ban be down to simple protectionism?

A lucrative ‘grey market’ often emerges when a much-hyped product like the iPad is launched. So perhaps the ban on the iPad is to prevent retailers from importing it from the US. That theory is given substantial weight by the fact that iDigital, the exclusive distributor of Apple products in Israel, is owned by Nehemia Peres, son of President Shimon Peres.

So Israel’s iPad ban aims to protect one of three things: the country’s fragile wireless networks, national security, or the business interests of the president’s son.

Whatever the case, one writer found the humorous side of Israeli iPad paranoia in all this, with a piece headlined, “Israel to Apple: We’ll stick to stone tablets for now.”

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  1. arie on April 21, 2010 12:43 am

    Thats pretty simple. If 5000 iPads would be imported until the official lunch so the state will lose income of 0.5 Mil us$ diff for VAT and the importer over 1.5 Mil US $

    Does it worth violating human rights and free trade ? Not sure…..

    All the rest, standars…etc, are just b*****it

  2. Ronald on April 21, 2010 1:14 pm

    doesnt differ much from what we have in Lebanon..

    i can come up with a gazillion schemes and bans that aimed at boosting The bussinesses of Lebanese Politician’s sons and daughters…

    starting from the famous number plate swap undertaken in the mid to late 90s. Michel and Elias Murr, yeah it’s you I’m talking about…

  3. OFiroz on May 19, 2010 10:02 am

    Israelis are known for tricky business. Glad that the causalities are not from other countries, normally that is the case though! one Israeli is cheating another one!
    I am OK with it.


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