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Mobily CEO: Apple canceled FaceTime

Khalid Al Kaf, Mobily’s CEO, said recently that Apple is the one that canceled FaceTime service in the Middle East and not the Saudi Communication of Information Technology Commission.

Here’s a translation of Khalid Al Kaf’s quote about FaceTime:

Al Kaf denied that the reason for canceling FaceTime from the iPhone 4 was Mobily or CITC.
Instead he said that it was disabled by Apple because, according to him, there is no regulatory regulation for such a service in the region.
Because they respect the communication systems in the world.

This contradict’s Mobily’s Internal announcement where they blame CITC. Mobily customer support representatives are still repeating that, thanks Turtwig.

What do you think?

Thanks Abu Fahad for the link.

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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About Khaled A.


  1. What are these “regulatory regulations”?
    FaceTime is no different than fringe or skype, why they weren’t banned too!

    Did Apple announce anything regard this?

    Argh! Why can’t everybody be honest so we know for sure who to blame lol

    • Blame Mobily & CITC, there is no clear VoIP regulations in Saudi Arabia & thats why Apple banned FaceTime. Mobily didn’t show any efforts to try to solve it with Apple instead they blammed CITC a week ago & now Apple.

    • OK i will just post it in reply to this, so it is on top 🙂
      I couldnt get my hands on any iphone 4 bought from mobily or that doesnt have facetime working so what i am writing here will be a theory worth trying:
      1- before that ‘bad apple’ said he bought his from UK and facetime now doesnt work.. was it jail broken?!
      2- other than bad apple all i hear it is Mobily and UAE carrier phones that have this issue. in that sense it seems to be a serial number restriction. meaning apple sips phones to mobily and UAE carriers with certain serial numbers as well as different updates.
      3- so what if someone can try to get their iphone into DFU mode, then restore it to an OS that they downloaded online. The online versions should not have any restrictions if it is a serial number restriction.
      4- to do this : PLEASE PROCEED ON YOUR OWN RISK, I AM NOT HELD in anyway accountable for what might go wrong. it is a theory after all 🙂
      a- backup your iphone (right clicking your iphone on itunes and choosing backup will do it i believe)
      b- download the restore file here are two links (make sure you choose the one for iphone 4:
      c- enter DFU mode on your iphone.. here is a link on how to do it…
      MAKE SURE AFTER you enter DFU mode and itunes tells u that phone has to be restored , when u get to the itunes screen HOLD the SHIFT button when you click on the restore button… this way it will ask you where is the restore file, otherwise it will restore your old backup (useless) .

      now check if this will get you facetime or not, and do let us know

  2. What the hell!
    Only MOBILY iphones are facetime banned, all available in KSA (i.e. jarir store) does have facetime
    so this is NOT because of region.

    • I agree they should allow us to return all phones immediately!

    • sorry dude but this issue is not related to mobily iphone 4’s…i just updated mine thru itunes and face time is gone…and i got mine from UK…so it is apple…i guess i tunes track our ip address and then we only download that version which does not support facetime.

      Iam trying to find a way around…if i will let you guys know for sure…

  3. Well im glad that i bought my units from Jarir, i bought 2x 32gb and 2x16gb a week ago from Jarir and i have absolutely no problem using Facetime seeing that it works, mobiles are sourced from Hong Kong thus not affected! 

    For those of you willing to try something else…. there’s yet another new app Tango which according to the advertisers works over 3G as well! ive been trying to install it, but cant seem to get the APP to work, others who have reviewed it though says its works a charm.

    also remember that Fring also allows for video calls and you can use the front facing camera on your iphone 4


    please let me know when anyone of you guys get this app to actually start working, i would like to know what you did

    thanks and good luck

    • Tango or Fring, thats not the issue, we need facetime like other iphones,
      We PAID fully to Mobily for iPhone and that time they didnt mention that so so feature (i.e.facetime) is disabled.
      That sucks… Mobily should get it back from apple.

    • it works perfectly with me. just make sure both of you are running tango and your contacts synchronized to make it work.unlike facetime which works like standard phone application. it works perfect over 3g too…not bad at all..

  4. if that is case then Mobily can simply inform Apple that the feature isn’t banned in the Mid East and Apple should include the fix on its next update. it shouldn’t be that hard, should it? unless of course Mobily doesn’t care about its costumers…

  5. Lets start our own service 🙂 4G baby

  6. I thought FaceTime is only on WIFI for non-Jailbroken iPhones!!! 

    What does it have to do with the carrier, wether Mobily or any other arabian one ?!!!!!!

    If it’s non-functional in the Middle East, it’s definitely Apple who disabled it, which BTW is what Apple has announced officially.

  7. This remind me of the original government ban on mobile phones with cameras; everyone had one, impossible to police, and eventually overturned. Wonder how the iPhones from STC will be configured?

  8. egg & chicken game from Mobily

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