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Legal Action against Mobily to Enable iPhone 4 FaceTime

Nayef Almansi, a Saudi lawyer, has started an online campaign to demand that Mobily activate the FaceTime service in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Almansi is asking Mobily iPhone 4 owners to participate.

It should be noted that FaceTime has been disabled in iPhone 4 units running iOS 4.1 with the following model numbers: MC605AE and MC603AE (same model number in UAE by Du and Etisalat as well as in Qatar with Vodafone). As far as we know carrier settings cannot disable FaceTime, imported iPhone 4 units still have FaceTime enabled.

Mobily has blamed Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) for banning FaceTime, however in the UAE carriers claim that Apple banned it.

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.

The FaceTime post on Nayef Almansi’s website is in Arabic so I will translate what I can (if you can translate this, please add it to the comments and I will be grateful).

Demanding that Mobily enables FaceTime service on the iPhone 4:

Mobily recently launched the latest Apple product, the iPhone 4, and started selling it officially in Saudi Arabia. Customers noticed that FaceTime, a feature promoted by Apple and even Mobily’s website, has been deactivated. FaceTime is a video calling service which is a vital feature, socially beneficial and provides a useful service for an important segment of society; people with special needs who use sign language to communicate using the front-facing camera.

Many Mobily customers has complained regarding this weird behavior by Mobily, considering it a form of commercial fraud, where the company may not withhold what they announced on their website.

And because Mobily did not provide an official explanation regarding this issue and because customers want to take full advantage of the iPhone 4 advertised features.

Our office has volunteered to collect the names of all customers affected by the purchase of the iPhone 4 and did not get the FaceTime feature and use all available legal means guaranteed by the state to submit it formally to Mobily to force the company to enable the service or return all units and compensate their customers.

To list your name send a blank email and in the title write your name and ID number. The email is: nayefalmansi@gmail.com

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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Comments (23)

  • Mazen AlDarrab

    It’s all about ($) , if service providers such as Mobily enables Facetime , then other companies ( Zain & STC ) will lose a lot by not having the opportunity to offer similar service for free  .CITC role is to ensure that fare competition is in-place ( no monopoly ) . I believe That might be the reason why they force Mobily to disable it  . It does not make sense , but that’s how things are going in KSA :D

    • Hamed

      I do not see any monopoly in Facetime, it is just another video call service like skype,however, it has more restrictions, both parties should have iPhone 4 or iPod 4th gen. while other services can run on many devices.

  • axl

    excellent move!!!

  • Eric

    YAY!! count me in. perhaps we should sue Steve Jobs as well…

  • Ahamad Izzard

    last week i was very keen to buy an iphone ,infact i went to dahran mobily showroom and waited with the crowd to buy an iphone but i couldnt that day, but later i came to know abt this facetime issue and i am hesitating to buy from mobily,may be i would go for Jarir. if we could do something to unblock facetime it is an excellent move and this will give a lesson for mobily as well.

  • Eeman

    I’m using Mobily and FaceTime works absolutely fine on my iPhone4.

  • aviana

    hi 
    I dont know why the activated facetime with mobily . they is no such reason of drama with facetime since video call has been use since long time with other devices … ( or maybe the quality of ‘drama’ would be better with iphone 4 LOL  ) ANyway , I bought mine yesterday from Jarir and of course it will automatically update to IOS 4.2 so .. I saw some iphone 4 user ha no problem with facetime ( iam not sure through carrier or wifi ) but please tell me how to activate it with my mobily simcard since I dont have wifi at home … 

  • Shams

    You are in a right direction to help others and ask our right “Keep it up” we are with you

  • Abd

    I put my stc sim card in my iphone4(bought from mobily) it enables FaceTime :) Yea!
    Next thing i want is to use it with my girlfriend unfortunately she dont have the iphone4 yet :( hopefully she will have it some day or maybe i should find another girlfriend with the iphone 4 :S urgh

    • Karim

      I have an STC sim from my old phone. Mobily really screwed me over with the FaceTime feature… But does it really work if you put the STC sim in it? Did STC set up a network for it?

  • Rustom

    ^ That’s one of the many reasons FaceTime was disabled.
    That & Saudi Naivness & Paranoia!

  • Ayman

    Guys Mobily has nothing to do with banned FaceTime!
    it’s all apple ! as they claim of VoIP restrictions ….
    but Mobily is idiot because they don’t know about that and the push it to CITC..
    if they contact apple they could have avoid this lawsuit 

    • Sham

      Mobily should to take responsibly. Why because all other serial numbers iphone4’ face time working properly in Saudi or any other GCC country .
      lets mobily returns our money !!!!!!!! it’s completely Mobily internal issue .
      mobily made big mistake that they released Saudi market Same Serial Number iphone4 Ethislat brought for Dubai .
      now mobily trying to trough ball in others court to mislead customers. Am I right ?

  • Sajid

    count me in from UAE updated to 4.1 n no facetime

  • Rehan

    I am here as well…
    Pls do sometime

  • Karim

    Umm… Do we send the Serial number or the Identifier (UDID)?

  • MMS

    I got my I phone 4 form Due Emirates (model MC605AE, once updated to 4.1 the face time feature (Icon) has disappeared. I mean I don’t have the face time option which can be ON or OFF

    It is like a nightmare for me, I feel like I got fucked with this deal. If I noticed that before I would not by it form any of those fucking operators

    We have to work it out together till find a solution

  • Moses

    Fuck u apple… We bought these item, and u disabled it? Greedy asshole

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