Israel has officially banned any iPads being imported from the US from entering the country, threatening to confiscate the newly launched tablet from passengers at airports.
A spokesman for the communications ministry told the FT on Thursday night that the device’s wi-fi communication system was not compatible with Israel’s own wireless standard and claimed it could damage the domestic network. Some iPads have already reached Israel
The spokesman said the Israeli system was run on a Eurpean standard and that other European countries could take similar measures.
Apple was approached for a comment on the ban or on the claim that the iPad could damage non-compatible networks, but no comment was forthcoming.
Apple said this week that it was holding back on the international roll-out of the much-hyped tablet while it caught up with US demand in the wake of its launch earlier this month.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, had said the company was on track to start selling the iPad in the UK by the end of this month. But on Wednesday the company said it would not announce international pricing or start taking pre-orders until May 10. In the US, iPads range in price from $499 to $829.
Only a wi-fi version of the device has been released so far, with a 3G version coming in the US at the end of this month.