eran tor 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The official importer of Apple products to Israel, iDigital, on Tuesday
denied it had anything to do with the short-lived ban on importing iPad
tablet computers, saying its staff worked as hard as they could to have
the ban lifted.
The iPad went on sale in the United States on April 3, and will be
available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain,
Switzerland and the UK at the end of May.
CEO Eran Tor told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that his company “had
nothing to do with the Ministry of Communications ban,” and that once
iDigital found out about it, “we worked very hard and very eagerly to
get rid of it.”
Tor added that his company took lifting the ban seriously enough that
its people worked “day and night” through Remembrance Day and
Independence Day to convince the ministry to lift the order.
A week and a half ago, the Communications Ministry announced a ban on
the import of iPads because the device’s Wi-Fi transmitter was set to
American standards and could interfere with local Wi-Fi operations,
including the IDF’s.Related: MK Ilatov urges ministry to reconsider iPad ban
According to a press release issued by the ministry on Sunday, the
decision to lift the ban came after “intensive technical scrutiny,”
following which Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud) approved
the device’s entry to the country.
Tor said using Wi-Fi technology made sense since other Apple products,
the AirPort Express wireless base station and the Apple Time Machine
backup utility, are currently unavailable in Israel for reasons similar
to those that triggered the Israeli ban on the iPad.
Boaz Ordan, a well-known Apple enthusiast and importer in Israel, told
the Post on Sunday that among local Apple fans, one of the main lines
of speculation on the ban is that iDigital, which is owned by Chemi
Peres, the son of President Shimon Peres, did not want people to bring
in iPads before iDigital could sell them here.
Ordan said many people believe that considering the fact that Apple
products often take a long time to reach Israeli stores, the ban
“stinks like somebody had some interest involved.”
Tor took serious issue with this claim, saying that private importers
“have a vested interest in smearing the official importer to Israel and
creating a negative perception of iDigital.”
Furthermore, Tor said that iDigital wasn’t worried that the iPad would
take a long time to reach Israel, therefore costing the company a large
share of the market as potential customers opt to import it on their
“We are very certain the iPad will be here very soon. The only thing I
can tell you is that it will be here in the coming months,” he said.
Following the lifting of the ban on Sunday, Israelis can each bring in
a single iPad free of customs duty. Israelis and tourists whose iPads
were confiscated by customs officials during the ban will be able to
get them from customs and use them in Israel, though they may be asked
to pay storage fees for the time the devices were impounded.
The iPad is a tablet device that combines the functions of a notebook
computer with the touch-pad interface of the iPod or iPhone.