Oh Baby. That "i" in IPad surely does not stand for Israel, which has banned all imports of the hot device, citing wi-fi incompatability concerns. Travellers even report having their iPads confiscated at Ben Gurion airport and mail orders have been held up indefinitely in customs. Does anyone know whether the Apple dealer in Ramallah has any stocks yet? Reminds many of the hiccups when the first iPhones were launched and scarce in the Holy Land.
According to Aharon Etengoff of TG Daily, Israel has an unofficial commercial reason for keeping the magic Apple out of the country after the (American version of the) iPad was deemed "incompatible" with Israeli standards
... by engineers at the omnipresent and monolithic Communications Ministry.
"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," officials told Haaretz. Uh-huh.
It is worth noting that Apple's Israeli distributor, iDigital, is run by Chemi Peres, the hyper-entrepreneurial son of Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Clearly, iDigital wants its lucrative cut of every iPad brought into the country - which it will undoubtedly receive when a modified European version of the iPad is approved for import over the next two or three months.
But in the meantime, iDigital can't make money off the slow trickle of iPads entering the country via private citizens, tourists and international businessmen.
And if iDigital can't get its cut, well, then, no iPad for you!