Israel Lifts iPad Ban

Israel announced that they have lifted the iPad ban.

“The scrutiny conducted by the Ministry technical team vis-à-vis Apple’s team, International laboratory and European counterparts confirmed that the device which could be operated in various standards will be operated in Israel in accordance to the local standards.”

Lets be honest. This had nothing to do with Israeli limitations on wireless communications. This had to do with importing a device that could be resold for significant profit without paying any sort of tax. Israel has more high-tech start-ups per capita than anywhere on earth. Needless to say the number of folks willing to pay a large premium to get their hands on one makes this a profitable market. It also makes the startups extra vulnerable to being extorted.

The truth is the iPad uses a pretty vanilla Broadcom BCM4329 (BCM4329XKUBG to be exact) chip. This is yet another chip in a very popular series of Broadcom chips for wireless communications. It handles Bluetooth and WiFi on one package making it very efficient and battery friendly. The iPhone 3GS uses the BCM4325. Millions of cell phones and laptops have very similar chips in them for the past several years. The radio is nothing new.

Almost every traveler bringing a laptop or smart phone into Israel has a wireless card of equal strength. If they had any real reason to believe that foreign wireless chipsets could be a danger to their infrastructure all laptops would need to be whitelisted before being brought to Israel. Clearly that’s not the case. Yes you can tweak via software to limit the power of a wireless card, but does anyone adjust their laptop when entering another country? Has anyone been checked when entering the country for wireless strength? I’m guessing not.

Now that a few weeks have passed, and the hype is starting to die down, there is no longer a need for the ban. Units will start shipping overseas soon anyway.

This isn’t a bad thing I might add. People who smuggle these devices in and resell them are just opportunistic and taking advantage of the situation.