Communications Ministry bans iPhone 4s imports

Until mobile carriers launch the smartphone, the ministry will not allow imports; ban is a result of recently passed communications reforms.

A woman showing off her new iPhone 4s in NY 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
A woman showing off her new iPhone 4s in NY 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
The Communications Ministry has banned the import of iPhone 4s. The ministry rejected importers applications to import Apple's latest smartphone, but were told that until Israeli mobile carriers launch iPhone 4s, the ministry will not issue a certificate for a new device and will not allow it into the country.
The Communications Ministry previously banned iPod imports on the same grounds, until massive public pressure forced Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon to change his mind.
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In a partial reform of Israel's telecommunications market, importers can only import devices already sold in Israel by mobile carriers, and which comply with all international standards. Since the mobile carriers have not yet launched the iPhone 4s, nor have they received any permits for it, importers cannot import it.
The Communications Ministry said in response, "Following the request by the importers and mobile carriers on this matter, the ministry is in the approval process, and commercial imports of the devices will be approved as soon as possible."
Although the Knesset passed the reform of telecommunications devices last year, the reform has not been implemented because the Communications Ministry has not prepared the formal documentation and standards.