No time for Apple FaceTime in Middle East

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK. Visit Macworld UK’s blog page for the latest Mac news from across the Atlantic.

Reports suggest that FaceTime isn’t legal in every country. As a result Apple has removed any mentioned of the video calling feature from material describing the iPhone 4 in some Middle East countries.

The company has also disabled FaceTime on phones in those countries via the iOS 4.1 update, according to SaudiMac. iPhone 4 units running iOS 4.0.2 had been able to FaceTime, but according to Saudi Mac if you update to iOS 4.1 FaceTime will be disabled on these phones.

Apple has updated its carrier information for a number of Middle East countries noting that: “FaceTime is not available on this carrier.”

Carrier Mobily customer support has sent details to customers claiming that the reason FaceTime has been removed is “due to complying on Communication of Information Technology Commission (CITC) regulations.” However, carrier Mobily’s CEO told Saudi Mac that Apple is the one that canceled FaceTime service in the Middle East and not the CITC.

One Saudi Lawyer is campaigning for the feature to be reinstated.

Currently the countries lacking FaceTime video calling are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar.

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