Home > News > FaceTime works with Mobily iPhone 4, just don’t upgrade to iOS 4.1

FaceTime works with Mobily iPhone 4, just don’t upgrade to iOS 4.1

It has been confirmed that FaceTime does work with iPhone 4 units sold by Mobily, there is a catch however.

Do not upgrade to iOS 4.1 as it disables FaceTime (this message as well as this one as well as many others confirmed it). We are talking about iPhone 4 units sold from MOBILY showrooms.

Right now we recommend that you just wait until it is %100 confirmed why is it happening like that.

Update: Macworld Middle East covered it as well: FaceTime in UAE killed by iOS 4.1 update, users report.

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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About Khaled A.


  1. May I ask the following:
    1) What else do we loose by upgrading to 4.1?
    2) Is this a bug/error that will be fixed in another upgrade like 4.2?
    3) What would I loose if I don’t upgrade to 4.1?

    So far I didn’t upgrade to 4.1 but to be honest FaceTime is of no interest to me!

    • I bought Iphone4 with Version 4.1 from a shop in Batha, and Face time was working fine
      on Iphone version 4.1. I already tested it with my Friend in US.

  2. If i bought my Iphone 4 from the UK will the FaceTime property be affected if i upgrade it to IOS 4.1 ?

  3. If i got South Africa and update there will i then be able to keep Face Time

  4. It really works ..

    I’ve bought iPhone 4 today .. 4.0.2 ..

    First thing .. Facetime didn’t appear in Settings > Phone .. but I did a ” Hard reset ” I guess it called ..

    then it appears .. and I have the choice to enable it or not ..

    thx Khaled ..

  5. only iPhone 4 units effected are the ones sold by Mobily/Etisalat/Du

  6. I am buying mine inshallah tomorrow if they have stock of the 32gb again from mobily in Jeddah

  7. BTW Did anybody get a bumper with his iPhone 4?

    I remember the branch manager of Tahlya st. In Jeddah announcing in the morning they got bumpers but I didn’t get mine! And to be honest, the signal does drop once you hold it and it can switch from 3G to E up to losing the data network!

  8. Will it be the same with the new Ipod Touch ?

  9. عبدالرحمن حجار

    To answer Hassaan’s question, if you don’t upgrade to 4.1 the best thing you loose is the high dynamic range HDR feature.

  10. it happened to me. .. i wish i can downgrade.. 
    i upgraded to 4.1 and it disappeared … 

    just want to highlight that before i upgraded my iphone to 4.1, i tried to activate facetime with STC … it didnt work… i tried it with mobily it worked perfectly

  11. عبدالرحمن حجار

    With regards to the bumper I got mine for free through the “case program” which is the official app. However I’m not sure if it is available to the Saudi market. I live in the UK.

    If it is available, you need to hurry up since the program will be discontinued by end of September.

  12. قمه بالجهل

  13. I dont think Apple would take this decision by themselves unless they have request from the carriers. I want to ask that my iPhone 3GS has been upgraded to 4.1; so if I restore from the backup, iPhone 4 will automatically be upgraded to 4.1? I feel that that just ignoring 4.1 is a temporary solution, there will be 4.2, 4.3, etc., how long can we ignore it!! So either we have to wait till Apple opens up Facetime for us or buy from gray market! Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  14. iOS 4.1 is a recommended essential and must-have upgrade to fix proximity issues. Apart from this, HDR and Game center will be missed as well.

  15. Edit: iOS 4.1 is a recommended, essential and must-have upgrade to fix Proximity Sensor issues. If you don’t upgrade your phone to iOS4.1, then apart from experiencing Proximity Sensor issues you’ll miss HDR and Game center.

    • I never knew about this issue prior to this post. However, now I Google it and it seems to be a serious problem. Has it been fixed? (the namely iOS4.1 update).

      I have however encountered the antenna gate just last night. And I just bought my iphone 4 last night after waiting for some time.

  16. What would happen if I buy my phone from the uk? would the upgrade be affected here? Also what if my itunes is registered overseas, would this make a difference?

    • I bought my iPhone4 from UK. No problems at all. If your card is registered in UK, you’ll have leverage to buy applications available in UK-stores. And it’s unlocked working on all networks. I can do face time and I upgraded my phone in Saudi.

    • Eeman,
      Are you using STC or Mobily? And how did you acquire your device? Aramex?
      Thank you

    • Silver Friday: I actually bought it from mobily yesterday and sold it this morning! I am gonna order one from the UK cause I cant be bothered with their bullS%^t here.

    • Rami,
      I was waiting for the officiall release in Saudi…. but with all these problems I think I will just buy a UK one.
      What is the best method to do so?

    • I have also decided to buy from UK. Please advise the best way to do so. I have an account with Shop and ship service of Aramex already. If is safe to buy this way? Will I have to pay any customs for this?

    • Best way to purchase from the UK, is have a friend get it and send it to you by ups/aramex/dhl etc.

      I don’t think there is any customs to pay however I will find out.

    • I’m using Mobily. I’d my friend in UK, he was coming to Saudi Arabia. I ordered my phone via credit card and had it shipped to his house. He brought it here.

    • Eeman,

      Just a quick follow up.
      Did you buy it from Apple Store UK online and have it shipped? Or did you do so via ebay?
      Thank you

    • عبدالرحمن حجار

      If you want to buy from the UK, you can do so at Apple store online and pay with your Saudi credit card. I tried it and it works fine. Of course you need to have Aramex account for shipment.

    • Yes! I bought it from Apple UK stores via credit card and had it shipped to my friend’s house.

    • hi i have one question.
      I got my iphone4 from UK factory unlocked. Its on 4.0.1. My itune account is made on saudi credit card, so if i upgrade to ios4.1 will facetime will be gone. I mean i has to do somthing from which app store you download the 4.1 version.

  17. So what are we to do?
    Buy a Gray Market iPhone 4 or live without FaceTime?
    Anyone has any information on FaceTime on STC?

    • Seems like Facetime was an app preloaded onto the Iphones sold outside the Middle east region.

      As I didnt find any such application on my iphone, does it mean i wont be able to download it from the app store?

  18. Dear rami n silver friday,

    That if u can get it from UK…i was there during eid and it is totally out of stock….even if its available, u hv to be there after fajar…. Other way is like wat eeman said…buy it online n send it to ur frien’s house n bring/send it here…it will take around a month to get here…ur choice….

  19. If you go to mobily’s website, click the iPhone link, click on features then phone you will still see face time there as a feature

  20. any updates abt the availability in khobar eastern region?

  21. Anyone havr any idea about availability of 32gb in jeddah? I got my 16 yesterday, but i want a 32gb… Anyone?

  22. Hi 
    Just got the 16GB from Tahlia Jeddah. Guy at the counter said I Should not upgrade if I want Facetime.
    Once I opened and activated the phone, there is no Facetime icon on the screen.
    Setting>Phone Shows Facetime as ON.
    What should I do to get the Facetime Icon on the home screen.

    • عبدالرحمن حجار

      There is no icon on the home screen for face time. If it is enabled on your phone make a call to someone who owns iPhone 4, then you can activate face time.

    • I got someone who bought a iPhone at Jarir today. How can we see if it  is origional or jailbroken

    • Visited Jarir, they are already out of stock. Checked AlAhsa road branch and Olaya road branch in Riyadh. Both said, “sold out” and new stocks arriving next week. I believe Jarir has officially unlocked iphone from Hongkong, which is what Khalid had reported during 3Gs availability at Jarir.
      Awesome marketing strategy of Jarir with Facetime mentioned as one of the key point.

  23. Here is a way to get FaceTime, I didn’t try it though!

    “Turns out when doing a restore in iTunes, you let it do its thing and when it comes up to the point where you can set it up as a new iPhone or from a previous backup, you disconnect the iPhone without selecting any of those options (it should be activated at that point). Bingo.
    It was the backup causing a problem (from a non-jailbroken iOS 4.0 3GS). So now I gotta restore stuff by hand, but I’m fine with that as I wanted to do that in the first place!”

  24. Remember that, without updating your iPhone 4 to iOS4.1, you won’t be able to enjoy uploading HD 720p videos directly from your iPhone to YouTube.

  25. wen updating to 4.1 just dnt install the carrier setting update, ul have facetime working!! =)

    • where did you buy your iphone 4 from?

    • 1) How can you prevent the carrier setting update?
      2) I have two ideas that may work but since I already updated to iOS 4.1 I cannot test. It would be nice if someone can shed some light on it:
         => When prompted to connect your iPhone with iTunes -after downloading the update- have your sim card out of your iPhone and connect your laptop through VPN.

      I wish I tried it out of curiosity.

  26. Guys
    I noticed that FaceTime is back to my iphone when i got home last night for some reason
    I don’t really know how !!!
    By the way, I did a restore from my backup 3gs iphone when connecting the device to Itunes for the first time

    Check out your iphone

  27. is it safe to buy from jarir.what about the waranty.

  28. http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidGN_26092010_270950?q=iphone%204

    Apparently Etisalat of Emirates -which own part of Mobily and have management control over it- didn’t block any feature from the iPhone 4.

  29. I don’t understand how actually are they blocking FaceTime with an update? It surely has something to do with iPhone4 serial numbers Apple has released in the Middle East. FaceTime can’t be banned regionally though it can be on limited number of devices.

    People getting UK-based sets will be able to do FaceTime.

    • Telcos can ask Apple to block it, or they can can block the ports which it uses to access the net, just like how in offices services like IM and torrents can be blocked, you can can block them in your home very simply by accessing the router.

      but if you read the article linked to above it appears that Apple either acted alone or one carrier asked for it to be removed and Apple just removed it from all iPhones in the region. Either way they probably want to meet their September deadline for worldwide release and don’t want any delays.

    • But FaceTime works over Wifi. How precisely STC-port detects a FaceTime over Wifi and then blocks it?

    • Abdulrahman Hajjar

      To answer Eeman’s question,
      as far as I know, facetime gets activated by sending SMS to the operator. When I first activated the service, it was warning me that standard SMS charges will be applied to activate the service. I’m not sure if this happens only once or every time I do a facetime call. So I can see that Mobily or any other operator can easily ban this service by rejecting your SMS request. This is my guess.

    • Dear Abdulrahman
      You are right this is the right story.
      And if your SIM activated once you can put it inside any iPhone and it should work.
      I am shore from this.

  30. I just deactivated my FaceTime feature and then activated it. It waited for “Waiting for activation” and then activated. I can do FaceTime calls.

  31. My facetime is working but one way(incoming only )from other country(US). When i tried outgoing facetime call , it says the person you are trying to facetime is not ready, though i know he is ready coz we are actually testing it…bit weird. any explanation on this case?

    • It could be a problem with the wireless router you are using, I used to have similar problems with different IM and VoIP services like iChat. you might need to set up some ports.

    • I am using Thompson Router, DSL service from STC 4.0Mpbs speed. But it works perfectly with skype (two-way), fring and nimbuzz applications. What do you think guys???

    • below you said you are using iOS 4.0.2 according to the reports -and the headline of the article- the problem is only with iOS 4.1

      your problem might be some misconfiguration of some ports, I used to have similar problems with different types of services, for example Opera Mini usually doesn’t work unless I am connected to a VPN, but the problem is somewhat sporadic and i haven’t had the time to trouble shoot.

  32. Eaman, are you using the mobily iPhone 4 and have u updated to 4.1? If so, how’s your FaceTime working?

    • Ahmed, no I’m using Mobily sim card but I bought my iPhone4 from UK. Yes FaceTime works. I was just making a point that there’s nothing in the sim that blocks the feature. Perhaps, Apple might have blocked certain phones with specific serial numbers to have this feature.

  33. And same question to axl please? Are you using FaceTime on 4.1 mobily iPhone 4?

    • I just bought it yesterday from Mobily Olaya Branch riyadh, Iphone 4 16gb OS 4.0.2.It seems its the provider who is blocking the face time, not by serial numbers or whatever. I try it again this morning and same problem as last night. Any idea please???

    • If it’s the operator blocking this feature, then why is it not blocked on my set?


    • Neither mobily nor STC is blocking otherwise the iPhones purchased from UK, etc. would have also been blocked for facetime feature. 

  34. http://www.mypicx.com/09272010/FaceTime/

    I just took a print screen of my cell to show my FaceTime option.

  35. workin fin with me on 4.1 my phone fron UK with mobily sim !

    • Dude! I got mine from the UK as well…Which country account do you have on itunes?

      I got a saudi one on itunes…is it possible that if i update my UK based iphone 4 from that account , it will remove the face time option or will it stay there since its a UK based iphone?

      By the way I am using STC as my carrier…Thank in advnce dude. ; )

    • i updated to 4.1 with no problem at facetime still here

    • i updated to 4.1 with no problem , facetime still here

    • Ok…ive updated mine to jailbreak the device and the facetime option is gone…even though it is activated in the settings…ive updated to 4.1 thru itunes…and i got a UK version as well…i think its has something to do with the 4.1 version bein downloaded in saudi regardless of the phone model…

      will update soon after i reinstall 4.1 and try the shif + Click option on itunes…fingers crossed…or else gotta survive on TANGO!

    • after i updated to 4.1 my facetime did not Disappear but i never tried facetime to be Honest because I cant find any who has an I phone her in Jeddah LOL

  36. Face Time is available after all upgrades and settings.

  37. iPhone 4: Unable to use FaceTime after porting your number or installing a carrier settings update


    After porting your number or installing a carrier settings update and attempting to use FaceTime on iPhone 4, FaceTime may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

    * When you are calling someone on FaceTime, the number on their screen is not your number.

    To resolve this issue:

    * Use iTunes to update to the latest version of iOS for your iPhone.
    * Disable FaceTime in Settings > Phone and then turn it on again. Do this by sliding the slider off and then on.
    * Reset All Settings under Settings > General > Reset.

    * People are unable to initiate a FaceTime call with you.
    * After installing a new carrier settings update, FaceTime does not activate.

  38. If i update 4.1 will i still have facetime and do u think facetime is going to be back??

  39. can i return the phone back to mobily?

  40. Why do you want to return?

  41. Has anyone tried one of the facetime replacement apps like “FaceNow”?

    Does using one of these apps serve as a workaround after losing facetime capabilities due to the 4.1 update?

    I’m waiting to find anyone with a Mobily purchased iphone that has upgraded to 4.1 and managed to get facetime working.

  42. so what now?!

  43. Just purchased iphone4 from Jarir. Lets see how Facetime goes!

    • How is there warranty policy??

    • Could you see the model number if it is still from HK? Just like the one that they sold last time (iPhone 3GS). Thanks!

    • They say there is warranty. But, Jarir’ warranty is like no warranty. Anyhow, it come preinstalled with OS 4.1, so guess this was new shipment. Facetime is there with 4.1 although I restored backup from 3GS, but facetime is still there!

      Here’s the proof, http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/1301/img0446.png

    • Yes, it’s from Hong Kong, the model number is MC605ZP and Apple Hong Kong store has the same model number URL; below:


    • Thanks for the confirmation sameer 😉

    • Thanks for the heads-up Sameer. So how did the FaceTime do with your iPhone4 from Jarir? Is it working? Cause i’m ’bout to head to Jarir-Jeddah tonight. (Better get info first).

    • Yes Eydyey, Facetime is working perfectly without any issues. The first time, I just had to switched it off and on; it waited for being activated and when it was done, Facetime was working flawlessly between iPhone4′. Now just waiting for my “friends” to get iPhone 4 😉

    • Jarir ran out of stock last night. All are swept in the early opening morning of Jarir. Anybody know other sources where we can acquire an iPhone4?

  44. Sameer, which jarir did u visit?

    • AlAhsa street in Riyadh. There were only two units available when I visited there at 5.30pm on Friday, 32 and 16GB. They said they sold out 40 units in an hour.

    • Thanks for the heads-up Sameer. So how did the FaceTime do with your iPhone4 from Jarir? Is it working? Cause i’m ’bout to head to Jarir-Jeddah tonight. (Better get info first).

    • Yes Eydyey, Facetime is working perfectly without any issues. The first time, I just had to switched it off and on; it waited for being activated and when it was done, Facetime was working flawlessly between iPhone4′. Now just waiting for my “friends” to get iPhone 4 😉

    • Dear Sameer,

      Thank you for the valuable information.
      Do you mind sharing with us the seriel number of the phone you bought. It is importnat so that we can insure that we get 4.1 preinstalled.

      To decode the seriel number follow the legend:

      aa = Factory and Machine ID
      b = Year
      cc = Production Week
      ddd = Unique Identifier
      ee = Color (A4=black)
      f = size (S=16GB, T=32GB).

      This information is from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/how-to-decode-your-iphone-serial-number/7604

      Thank you for the information I guess I will be buying from Jarrir then.

  45. i have a question, what if i buy an Iphone from mobily and i use a sim card which is not from a saudi operator(i use it as roaming or outside saudi arabia) will the Facetime work?

    i mean will the facetime work if i use in another country?

  46. Eydyey,

    Please, do let me know if u find out….:)

  47. I just got an iphone 4 from Mobily Tabuk and it is already pre-installed with OS 4.1 (8B117). Face time feature is no longer available. And I am not sure if this is unlocked or locked version.

  48. I bought iPhone from Mobily (so unlucky) anyhow it was on iOS 4.0.2 & Facetime was working, but I dont know what heppened I am still on 4.0.2 but the FACETime option in nomore there, I am very upset with Mobily.

  49. Hi Guys,

    i am new to the Apple world, bought my unlock iphone 4 from Jeddah from Nasa company (they deal in all smart phones). just want to confirm this facetime feature works only with iphone 4 to iphone 4? thou i see the option of facetime whenever i call any number..any help would be appreciated.

  50. I just recently bought an iPhone 4 32 GB with iOS 4.3.3 from STC and they had activated it for me. My model number ended with AE, and there was no FaceTime ofcourse. I then upgraded it to iOS 5.0 via iTunes and updated my carrier too. Still there was no FaceTime. So then i Jailbroke it with redsn0w and installed “Middle What” via Cydia! I rebooted and FaceTime was right there… enabled and ready to use even on STC! =D

  51. I updated my phone into iOS 5!!! What about then?? 

  52. Outstanding text, its really owe me to visit more and more here. 😉


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