Israel lifts ban on imports of Apple iPad

A customer (R) buys an iPad at an electronic products store in Hefei, Anhui province April 22, 2010. The iPad sells for about 5900 yuan (US$864). REUTERS/Stringer

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel will begin allowing people to bring Apple iPads into the country starting on Sunday, two weeks after customs began confiscating the tablet computers for fear they would interfere with other wireless devices.

“Following the completion of intensive technical scrutiny, Israel Minister of Communications Moshe Kakhlon approved the import of (the) iPad to Israel,” the Communications Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry had banned importation of the touchscreen devices saying they did not meet European standards, adopted by Israel, for wireless use of communications frequencies.

The ministry said its technical team in the past week consulted with Apple Inc, a recognized international laboratory and European counterparts and determined the device could be operated in Israel according to locally followed standards.

The tests proved the device identifies the Wi-fi access point in its surroundings and adjusts itself automatically, enabling the iPad to be operated without interfering with other wireless devices, the ministry said.

“Accordingly, the import of a single device per person will be permitted commencing Sunday, April 25th,” the ministry said.

The ministry also ordered the release of 20 iPads that had been confiscated.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jerry Norton