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FaceTime gone from Apple’s Middle East iPhone 4 pages

Apple did something weird to their iPhone 4 pages on Middle Eastern websites and removed any mention of the iPhone 4 FaceTime feature.

Here is the Apple iPhone 4 Saudi Arabia page a few days ago:

Here it is now:

FaceTime feature and anything about were removed from the following countries’ pages: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

Personally I don’t think Apple removed FaceTime because of the woman’s picture mainly for one reason: the new picture added has another woman ;). But I do expect that one particular carrier (a carrier that blocked Skype, let us not use names ;) ) asked Apple to un-list FaceTime and Apple by mistake applied it to all the Middle East countries.

What do you think? An Apple conspiracy or an unintended mistake? FaceTime is still working with iPhone 4 owners in Saudi Arabia.

Thanks Mike from TUAW for covering the issue as well as these other websites: MacStories, TNW Middle East and 9to5mac.

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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Comments (23)

  • phil

    Face TIme: man there are some series issue in this country ….lol..
    stone age coutnry

    Being poor is against the law. Any man not earning a ‘reasonable’ income can be imprisoned.

    From Jeddah to Riyadh there are two highways: one for Muslims, another for “infidels”. If a Muslim is accompanied by an “infidel”, both are required to use the highway for infidels.

    If an oil field is found in your garden you must report it to the state before digging a bore hole greater than 5000 feet.

    It is against the law to possess any type of alcoholic beverage.
    It is considered an offence if a woman appears in public, unless accompanied by a male relative or guardian.

    It is illegal to engage in any religious practice other than Islam.
    It is illegal to import any books featuring Christian symbols such as a cross.
    It is illegal to kiss a stranger. (It’s bloody strange to kiss a stranger!!!)
    Male doctors may not examine women, and women doctors cannot examine men.
    Woman are not allowed to drive a car. (Now there’s a good law!!)

  • Afif

    although i love the iphone 4, im just wondering when will the ipod touch 4 be coming to saudi arabia??

  • Abdallah

    TO: Mr. PHIL…

    Hello, just a short message, please consider your message, learn more about this country and then you are welcome to write :)

    thanks..

    • phil

      Abdallah.

      First of all you dont write MR with frist name you use Mr with Last name like Mr Johnson,

      second. i dont hate Saudi arabia i just hate the way Saudi government treat their own national they have everything for them self and not for their national.

      they travel my country uk, USA, Europe bought houses flats getting rents cars etc.. and their sisters and daiughter dancing in clubs looking for British pakistani muslims boys as well as other national to get out of their own country as they have freedom in here…

      here in train we dont abuse women but in saudi any wome walk every men look at the women like they never seen women before even in veil…

      the more your govenment try to keep things tight people of your cuntry try other ways to get out and do things…

      i have seen saudi girls as soon as they are in plane they talke their abaya and wearing jeans and half sleev t shirt westerern cloths whihc is good but why 2 face…

      women cannot drive where in islam or in quran is mentioned women cannot drive.., if you can prove that i will convert into islam straight away.. coz i know in quran no where mention about women cannot drive…

      women gets rapes she get punshiment for lashes…and if she appeal she get double the sentence…

      what the hell.and last recently saudi empliyer abuse maid in saudi with nails where in islam says u abuse people ….employers rape their maid abuse them treat them like slave.. its not acceptable in islam not acceptable in the modern world an dnot accepetable in any manner..

      you must understand this if not you are one of those who are 2 faces and cannot see what is the differnce between Butter and Margarine.. you must be colour blind…if you cannot see the issue in your own country…

  • Al

    There are a low class people, the subject about iphone facetime and read the comment .

    I tried iphone facetime in STC a leading mobile provider here in saudi and works great but i wonder why do a user need a wifi coverage to use it we are not in usa where it is nessasery to make a video call
    Thanks

  • anabilal

    if face time is working right now, would they maybe disable it on phones sold by mobily and stc once it’s released? and folks, stick to the topic.. just saying

  • Abdullah

    There going to block it using Carrier preferences like in every other country. it only needs a small update to disable FaceTime from the phone, I think it will happen to users with Mobily not STC.

    Before I got an iPhone 4 I used a 3GS. with Mobily at first you couldn’t enable tethering when I placed the STC sim card it worked. So I think apple will only blocked from Mobily users if they did, because they are the official distributors for KSA. But STC will stay with the available iPhone 4 functionality ( I hope ).

    Will only have to wait and see :)

    phil !!! 
    When someone says MR, it’s because they are polite, don’t talk about things like you know them, because your posts clearly says your brainwashed by your government in thinking that we live in the stone age. I lived in the UK = your country, believe me when I say that I was in the stone age right there in the UK. People there obey the law only because they are watched by more than 1,000,000 cameras that invade peoples privacy.
    p.s.
    your English is horrible

    • Phil

      Abdullah: thanks for the reply.

      1) MR you dont use because they are polite: in real english world Mr should be used with surename regardless polite or not polite and using Mr with surname is professional not with first name (polite )

      2) I’m not brain washed by my country or anyone. the fact is we have camera every where and that is correct and privacy.. o comon our police dont reat us like your police treat you guys…

      these camera help us so anything goes wrong we can point to the camera and being the proof .. not like Saudi where u have proof but still they dont see it.

      no doubt we have crime in our country but we also tackle them .. as you said you been to UK have you ever notice we we drive cars in here.. not like Saudi mad drivers..dont care about rules regulation one way street but public have make them 2 way street.. its just crazy.. i went there at once.. and i hope i will never ever go there again.. yes.. Dubai, Qatar, baharain is great ..
      people there have some sense, educated, no salvery… theyd ont treat foregin workers like slave..

      you talking about stone man what do you know.. you just came out middle of desert from no where and telling me stone age..

      in my country we welcome everyone and treat them equal regardless of colour, relegion, race, rich or poor or they are women or men..

      not like saudia racist… if you are saudi you can go freely out side the saudi but if you are non saudi you cannot leave the country without permission from your sponser.. what the hell..

      we have saudi students in uk, thousands of young girls studying and working they told me they are far better then here then in saudi.. most of them got married even with non arab mens.. most of them seek assylam, they scared to go back.. why and guess what we still respect them and treat them like human.. but in saudi they all treated like animal.. comon admit to this.. you telling me i am telling you all this bull%hit no.. i aint…

      look at the airport..no duty free shop.. every single arab airpot have duty free shop.. but in in riyadh.. why ?
      no cenima?
      women cannot drive?

      DUde we allow muslims to worhsip in our country we have give our land to build mosque in london and every wherein uk.

      where you dont give rights t even muslims to lead prayer unless he is saudi.. what the hell.. and you telling me uk is stone age..

      go back to you lala land and sing your own song…

      you dont deserve iphone or face time…

      dont use our technologies.. then ./

    • hakeem

      Phil,

      upon hours of searching regarding face time issues, i cannot help to hold myself by not even sharing you certain facts about Islam and rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.

      First, for a fact that we observe a different law regarding ways of life, no one gives you the right to criticize/mock/question our practices and beliefs. your actions only shows your ignorance by posting such comments, showing sarcasm, without any legal facts/basis.

      Second, i heard the same stories a million times from several individuals, non-moslems. abusing maids, punishments, etc…  anybody can make such claims.  it will be more factual if you could provide at  least a link or article to support all your hearsay stories. i never said it’s not happening in KSA however for rape and criminal cases in the kingdom, statistically we are below the graph.  to prove my point, give it a try to google it for your satisfaction. 

      Third, regarding moslems girls changing their wardrobe when they are beyond islamic jurisdiction.  let me tell you that in Islam it’s the same thing with other religions, you find some with high level of faith and some are not.  this does not categorized as hypocrites, hope you clearly understood what i meant.

      Lastly, you said that if it’s written in the Holy Qu’ran that women are not allowed to drive, you will then convert.  that’s is too shallow!  again, this action shows your ignorance in Islam.  The only reason why you should convert to Islam is that you believe in it, 100%.  I do not need to be in detailed as i can see animosity within you and burst with emotions (i.e. telling us not to use your technologies, this comment is so hilarious!)

      The only thing i agree with you is the driving manners of arab people which for a fact even i cannot deny it.

  • Eeman

    As much as I like the free-speech and openness of this website, I’d suggest people to stop politicizing a very teeny-weeny things -i.e., face time and stick to Saudi principles and laws, regardless of their nature. If you don’t like this country, leave it. Yes, you’ve a right to criticize it, but do that in an appropriate corner.

  • Eeman

    There’s absolutely no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia, or rest of the modern Middle Eastern countries have restricted face time because it can create immoralities. You can have video calls on almost all Nokia cell phones in these countries.

    There would be some other reason. Stay tune for it to come up.

  • John

    To the best of my knowledge, Facetime is initially only possible over Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi so therefore, it doesn’t affect anything to do with the carrier, that is, it is not using any bandwidth or time charges, right?So, why would the carrier remove the feature? From other posts, I see that Apple is getting the blame now, ha!

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    Good! Hi, to start with I want to tell you that I follow your blog.I’ve bookmarked, Dugg, and I joined the RSS subscription. Thanks! .

  • atiq

    Mr. Abdalla or Abdulla whatever but remember u talk may correct but talk on a wrong wrong place and wrong manner so please first u go n learn manner then please come to teach Islam to others ok. I will pray to Allah that bless u some power to accept reality and facts Amin.

  • atiq

    Mr.Abdalla if u don know de facts n reality about anything please do not open your mouth and I challenge u dat u din read quran u r simply a lier and nothing…..

  • hakeem

    Phil,
    upon hours of searching regarding face time issues, i cannot help to hold myself by not even sharing you certain facts about Islam and rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia.
    First, for a fact that we observe a different law regarding ways of life, no one gives you the right to criticize/mock/question our practices and beliefs. your actions only shows your ignorance by posting such comments, showing sarcasm, without any legal facts/basis.
    Second, i heard the same stories a million times from several individuals, non-moslems. abusing maids, punishments, etc…  anybody can make such claims.  it will be more factual if you could provide at  least a link or article to support all your hearsay stories. i never said it’s not happening in KSA however for rape and criminal cases in the kingdom, statistically we are below the graph.  to prove my point, give it a try to google it for your satisfaction. 
    Third, regarding moslems girls changing their wardrobe when they are beyond islamic jurisdiction.  let me tell you that in Islam it’s the same thing with other religions, you find some with high level of faith and some are not.  this does not categorized as hypocrites, hope you clearly understood what i meant.
    Lastly, you said that if it’s written in the Holy Qu’ran that women are not allowed to drive, you will then convert.  that’s is too shallow!  again, this action shows your ignorance in Islam.  The only reason why you should convert to Islam is that you believe in it, 100%.  I do not need to be in detailed as i can see animosity within you and burst with emotions (i.e. telling us not to use your technologies, this comment is so hilarious!)
    The only thing i agree with you is the driving manners of arab people which for a fact even i cannot deny it.

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