iDigital: We did not cause iPad ban

Apple importer worked to lift the tablet computer ban.

eran tor 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
eran tor 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The official importer of Apple products to Israel, iDigital, on Tuesdaydenied it had anything to do with the short-lived ban on importing iPadtablet computers, saying its staff worked as hard as they could to havethe ban lifted.
The iPad went on sale in the United States on April 3, and will beavailable 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 “hadnothing to do with the Ministry of Communications ban,” and that onceiDigital found out about it, “we worked very hard and very eagerly toget rid of it.”
Tor added that his company took lifting the ban seriously enough thatits people worked “day and night” through Remembrance Day andIndependence Day to convince the ministry to lift the order.
A week and a half ago, the Communications Ministry announced a ban onthe import of iPads because the device’s Wi-Fi transmitter was set toAmerican 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, thedecision to lift the ban came after “intensive technical scrutiny,”following which Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud) approvedthe 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 Machinebackup utility, are currently unavailable in Israel for reasons similarto those that triggered the Israeli ban on the iPad.
Boaz Ordan, a well-known Apple enthusiast and importer in Israel, toldthe Post on Sunday that among local Apple fans, one of the main linesof speculation on the ban is that iDigital, which is owned by ChemiPeres, the son of President Shimon Peres, did not want people to bringin iPads before iDigital could sell them here.
Ordan said many people believe that considering the fact that Appleproducts 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 andcreating a negative perception of iDigital.”
Furthermore, Tor said that iDigital wasn’t worried that the iPad wouldtake a long time to reach Israel, therefore costing the company a largeshare of the market as potential customers opt to import it on theirown.
“We are very certain the iPad will be here very soon. The only thing Ican 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 ina single iPad free of customs duty. Israelis and tourists whose iPadswere confiscated by customs officials during the ban will be able toget them from customs and use them in Israel, though they may be askedto pay storage fees for the time the devices were impounded.
The iPad is a tablet device that combines the functions of a notebookcomputer with the touch-pad interface of the iPod or iPhone.