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back to article Apple wipes smile off FaceTime in the Middle East

Apple's FaceTime enables any iPhone 4 to make video calls to any other iPhone 4, assuming neither of them were bought in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Egypt or Jordan. FaceTime was hyped by Steve Jobs as the application that would turn the world on to video calling, and Apple web sites proudly listed it as a key feature of the …

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Anonymous Coward

I guess

I guess many of these are due to legal implications, if they enable facetime in the middle east and someone does something rude would apple be liable?

The camera noise is required in Japan due to the whole sneaky pic things (of course anyone who would take such pics for sneaky rudeness probably has a spy cam, easily picked up)

No idea why wifi is off in China, transmission laws? Like using the wrong setting on your wifi devices??

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Anonymous Coward

"the Japanese aren't allowed to turn off the shutter sound"

That's probebrly to do with the Japenese fixation with upskirt & voyeur shots, as well of the schoolgirl scene.

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Anonymous Coward

Shutter sound in Japan

> the Japanese aren't allowed to turn off the shutter sound

again that's, I think, a legal requirement ... n.b. a quick perusal of some of the murkier regions of the web will provide lots of evidence as to why its deemed necessary to give an audible indication that you have just taken a photo!

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WTF?

Pointless

Video calling was made available on landlines in the 90s. No-one used it.

Video calling was made available on mobiles in the 00s. No-one use(s|d) it.

Video calling was made available on the iPhone in 2010. It doesn't work over 3G, only WiFi. It requires two iPhones. It has no fall-back to standard video-calling. For those reasons it is, by any measure, defective.

Why would anyone use it now?

Seriously, fanbois: why? I really have no idea and would love to know why this is better than the previous incarnations. Help me to "get it."

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Have you actually used video calls from the 90s and 00s?

Did you actually use the video calling technology you speak of? The previous video calls all sucked. I haven't used Apple's so I cannot comment but the point is when someone finally comes out with video call technology that actually works (not works reasonably well with only a few seconds of lag but actually works) video calls will take off.

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If you have a iPhone 4 in a hot spot area...

...what are the chances that another iPhone 4 in a hot spot area will have one due to its popularity? Whereas, the other 'camera' phones just never took off.

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Thumb Up

not pointless

I guess we all have different requirements but facetime for me is very good.

In the last month I have used it with a colleague to discus a circuit design using the camera pointed at the paper where I could see what he was drawing. That was an hour long conversation and saved a long journey and petrol costs.

As I'm in Spain next month and away from the wife and kids then it will be useful to say goodnight to them each evening. Granted i could do similar over the phone but actually seeing them is a huge plus point.

Also it just works.

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Just ask Dilbert

In the 90's indeed...

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1992-06-01/

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1992-06-03/

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Same old.....

"Oh we can't do that, we'd be helping oppressive regimes to control their citizens."

<Sales forecast slideshow>

"Right. So that's video calls off and all sent mail and texts copied to the Interior Ministry. Ok?"

Next time you try to pin a value on your human rights, just remember it's already been officially pegged at somewhere below Apple's margin on iPhone sales in your country.

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Silver badge

Google facetime sex

Given the list of countries affected I think there is a good chance that they are more worried about video phone sex causing the next big earthquake then lawful intercept of calls.

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Bronze badge

But VoIP = Voice over IP ?

I've seen the TV adverts for FaceTime. There is no sound, users use sign language to communicate whilst soft music plays. And it stops after thirty seconds.

Or perhaps the TV advert isn't completely representative.

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Silver badge

Shafted by Jobs, again

Guess these countries lack consumer rights organisations.

But not to worry, true iPhans will simply assume the position and say: "Do it again, Steve".

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WTF?

Run that by me again?

Because some countries forbid facetime, Steve Jobs is somehow at fault for producing a phone that allows it? And complies with the law in those countries?

Are you suggesting that because a few countries don't permit facetime, for one reason or another, that no one should have it? Or are you suggesting that Apple takes no notice of the law?

How on earth is this Steve Jobs shafting anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

What has Steve Jobs done to you to cause such ire.

My Brother lives in the UAE. He is not allowed to use VOIP.

He uses a Dell so in his case he's being shafted by Michael Dell.

Get real. It's the law of the land.

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Dead Vulture

Occams Razor ?

"One could argue that this is another example of Apple's arrogance, ignoring local sensibilities in the American pursuit of cultural imperialism"

Or it could just be that someone at Apple didn't realise it was illegal in certain countries, and it was a genuine mistake ?

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Stop

Video calling *is* being used

but we call it Skype, MSN etc. Don't tell me no-one wants to use video calling just because doing it over your mobe doesn't make sense. It would either be horribly expensive with no-limit dataplans going out the door, or it would be more or less unusable because of poor handset design. If anything, Skype demonstrates us that by making something that Just Works, people DO like video calling. My conclusion? If Apple managed to get the economic disincentives out of the way, and make it usable, it might actually work... However, lawful intercept would be yet another reason to dislike video calling (or any calling ;) using your mobile device....

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WTF?

Huh?

I've used Skype since version 1 and never once considered using the video support. Is it an age thing? I'm an adult. My friends are adults. But then I'm not much on folks holiday pix either.

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Linux

do you have kids and need to travel for work?

being able to see my daughter is a huge plus when i'm away from home. albeit she's still at the goo-goo ga-ga stage and perhaps when she can speak i can talk to her and not want the video so much, but for now skype and it's video rule. and putting this on the iphone is a biggie.

having said that, i still do not like being told what i can and cannot do. or having his holiness decide for me. sorry greedy stevie, face time is uber kewl an all, but you're not getting any dosh from me.

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Flame

Fragmentation

I wonder it this would be classed as fragmentation of iOS, certainly having to enable and disable services and features dependent upon the location would appear so.

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Good observation. Can you do me a favour?

Can you speak to JaitcH. He get so many Apple things so wrong!

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Thumb Up

It still works here!!!!!

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones at the moment, here in Kuwait it works just fine. I used it last week to see family back home in the UK and the clarity was amazing, it starts to jump a little when you move away from the wi-fi source. This is even more amazing since my connection is thru a USB dongle (into router) and rarely tops 1.5M/sec.

I've previously used Skype and MSN, but this trumps them both, big time!! The biggest benefit is mentioned above, that you can show people things without having to move a desktop camera or laptop.

I really hope it isn't removed!!!

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