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    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    ..but why FaceTime?

    If you happen to live in the middle east, specifically in these countries, and happen to have recently bought an iPhone 4, you might have noticed (or not) that there's no Facetime.. poof!

    Yes, it was inevitable.. The signs were there (days before the international release)..

    Am sure that it's old news by now for many, so I'm not really giving you breaking news here.. ME Phone carriers sold the iPhone 4, promoting it's features on their websites WITH Facetime included, which caused an expected backlash of course.. Now, there's a possibility for legal action to be taken against the carriers, first in line, Saudi Arabia's Mobily (who're blaming the upper management)..

    The iPhone was released on the 25th of September, and the rage started when users noticed that updating to iOS 4.1 deletes the feature.. Official confirmations has been all over the web, and the finger pointing begins..

    According to a confidential source, Apple EMEA has irreparably forked up their release of highly anticipated iPhone 4G by removing FaceTime, Apple’s popular video calling application because they assumed it wouldn’t fly with the region’s regulations on VoIP.
    Turns out, regional carriers had no idea of Apple’s decision to remove FaceTime and once disovered, Apple requested permission to fix their mistake with a future update, to which telecoms have gladly denied. We’ve reached out to Apple but have received no word on the issue till the time of publishing this story. -TNW
    And that's the most probable theory..
    My personal opinion: Apple disabled FaceTime for one of two reasons: they saw the mess with the Blackberry Messenger ban in UAE and decided to disable FaceTime to avoid Drama or a regulatory authority in the region asked Apple to disable it. -Khaled via SaudiMac 
    But what's so dangerous about Facetime and why is it "assumed" to be dangerous? Well, it has nothing to do with sex, i promise you.. It's one little technology that doesn't seem to be very popular with our loving and caring authorities.. According to Wiki:

    FaceTime is based on numerous technologies:
    • H.264 and AAC – video and audio codecs respectively
    • SIP – IETF signaling protocol for VoIP
    • STUNTURN and ICE – IETF technologies for traversing firewalls and NAT
    • RTP and SRTP – IETF standards for delivering real-time and encrypted media streams for VoIP 
    So, the same lock-down that hovered over RIM in the middle east (and later avoided by a settlement of some sort), you won't be seeing any real-time none-static Faces on your Retina displays (unless it's me you're talking to, ha ha i know).. Settle for that, or work around it, but nothing official seems to be taken by those responsible..

    Do you think the legal action will settle on refunds? or will the authorities listen to the angry consumer (I lol'd on this one)?


    [update: SaudiMac looked under the hood of the new Mid-East iOS update, and found some interesting reveals.. No official statements from Apple or CITC, so it's almost solved, but not officially.. Don't you just love the mystery?]


    1. limera1n released a jailbreak today that restored the service!!

    2. I have to say i'm not a huge fan of FaceTime. Yes it seems pretty cool but my problem is I don't know anyone who uses it. Or anyone else with a a 4g!

    3. With enabling the iPod touch, the new generation of Mac OS's and the possibility of a front camera for the next iPad, Facetime is trying to catch some spotlights in both interest and usage.

      Personally, I agree with you. Despite the RDF in the iPhone 4 ad on how this is a "revolutionary" feature, it's just simplified video conferencing. Actually, to many, simplicity and ease of use is a revolution on its own, but didn't get me depressed when i heard about it's disabling in the MidEast..

      Holograms, baby.. Holograms is the KEY OF THE FUTURE!