iPhone 4 Comes To UAE and Qatar But Without FaceTime Installed

Written By Sam on 27 September 2010
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The iPhone 4 was launched this weekend in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, but buyers met an unsuspecting surprise. The iPhone 4 front-facing camera was not able to do FaceTime. FaceTime is Apple’s new video chatting technology that allows owners of the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th generation to do video chat with their devices front facing camera via Wi-Fi. The National reported that the video chat feature was missing from iPhones sold at UAE carriers Etisalat and Du. Those sold from Vodafone Qatar as well also had similar problems. Carriers are blaming Apple for the missing feature, and spokespersons from both Etisalat and Vodafone said that they’re speaking to Cupertino about reinstating FaceTime post-sales, which was reportedly advertised on Middle Eastern versions of Apple’s iPhone website until around September 20th, when all references to FaceTime were removed.

There are also also reports that some UAE denizens have actually tested FaceTime on phones bought abroad and found working quite well. It appears that the functionality disappears if the local version of the href=”http://www.techhail.org/iphone/direct-download-ios-4-1-firmware-for-iphone-4-3gs-3g-and-ipod-touch-4g-3g-2g/7006″>iOS 4.1 update is installed! It is not clear if Apple was arm twisted into removing FaceTime by the Middle Eastern Governments or if it was for another reason entirely. It is however worthy of note that the UAE as well as Egypt has banned VOIP services in their countries in time past. Also, RIM’s Mike Lazaridis famously warned that countries threatening to ban the BlackBerry might thumb their nose at other forms of internet transmission.

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