Apple iPad Not Quite Ready for US Universities

More iPad Banninations!

Earlier in the week news came in of the Israeli authorities confiscating iPads from their owners as they entered the country. The argument they gave was that the iPad used Wi-Fi frequencies that “could interfere” with Israel’s own Wi-Fi infrastructure. I wonder if those same authorities know about iPhones, iPods and Apple’s laptops? Or other mobile devices?

We are hearing now that certain US Universities are banning the iPad also. Namely Cornell University, George Washington University and Princeton University. The reasons given are similar in some cases to Israel’s reasoning.

Some of the universities refer simply to Wi-Fi network load problems, while others are citing “security issues”. It’s all a little vague at the moment, but reports state that at George Washington University iPad, iPhones, and iPods have all been blocked from their networks.

This is something of a blow to Apple who are touting the iPad as a must-have device for students. My first reaction to this news is that Apple is a victim of its own success. iPhone, iPods and iPads don’t do anything that differently from other similar mobile devices. But there are a lot more of them out there in students’ hands these days. Hence iPad, iPhone, and iPod touches are likely to become the focus of attention as networks become log jammed in these institutions.

Therefore it seems to me that this is more an issue of University network infrastructure not being able to keep up with the increasing number of mobile devices that students carry and use on a day to day basis (and the growing bandwidth that they require).

Perhaps Universities should insist that students download Opera Mini and use that for web surfing from their iDevices instead of Mobile Safari? But then Opera Mini allegedly has it’s own issues with security due to the cached nature of its compressed web pages. But that is a story for another day.

We’ll keep you posted as further news comes in.

Has your University banned you from using any mobile device on their network? Let us know in the comments. We’d be particularly interested to hear if this is just affecting Apple devices or any others?

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Stephen NorthcottApple iPad Not Quite Ready for US Universities
  • Charles Horne

    Actually you got it backwards. The universities are not ready for the iPad.