There is no FaceTime in Middle-east… I know it might sound a little too harsh, but (and it’s a big one for me) there’s a problem with iPhones in middle-east. Let’s say you visit Dubai for holidays, buy a new iPhone (for Xmas or smth) to play with and experience the new Apple goodies, and then you go back to wherever you live.
That’s pretty straight-forward. That’s how vacations, and tourism industry in general, work. Now when you’re back you might want to call your new friend from Dubai. To save on international calls you want to FaceTime him – BOOM! He doesn’t have one, because of the government regulations in United Arab Emirates.
You calmly realise it’s okay and manage to call him via Skype or some other software (though might bump into the same problem). However, before you realise that the Dubai friend doesn’t have FaceTime, you’ll spend a few hours of your life trying to find it on Your iPhone that you’ve just bought in Dubai.
You clearly remember that FaceTime is still a thing, because you watched the Apple September Event (Live). After couple hours of browsing and manipulating with google keywords and advanced search tools, you find the answer. Which is: “They don’t have FaceTime in Middle-eastern iPhones right from the factory they’re made in.” WHAT? No FaceTime in Middle-east? Did I empty my wallet for an unfinished version of iPhone? Should’ve I bought the chinese fake version of an iPhone for third the price?
That’s not the end of the story. I remember enjoying normal calls to my iPhone 5 that I could receive from my Macbook Air (with EarPods On), but that is also off the table.
There are a number of other things that are “off the table” because they are related to FaceTime (even Siri can”t find it).
Apparently Apple makes separate versions of iPhones for the Middle-east and for the rest of the world. It’s not even about a different iOS, there is some particular difference in hardware.
List of countries where they make iPhones with no FaceTime:
- United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
- Saudi Arabia
Now if you live in on of the above-mentioned countries this kind of iPhone is alright for you.
However, if you’re just visiting United Arab Emirates, Qatar or some other nice warm tourist-friendly luxury Middle-eastern country – just don’t buy one. Wait until you arrive back home. It doesn’t work even when you arrive back home (just to be clear). At some point in your life (with this kind of iPhone) you will realise that you need FaceTime.