Gulf telcos in talks with Apple after app was not included on newly launched phones.
UAE telecoms providers Etisalat and du launched the iPhone in shops on September 25, but the popular FaceTime Apple application was not installed, The National newspaper reported on Sunday.
FaceTime is similar to Skype, which is already banned in the UAE, and allows users to make free calls using their iPhone video camera.
An anonymous executive from one of the operator is reported as saying the application was not included by Apple on the new phones to prevent any delay to the launch.
However, Khalifa al Shamsi, the vice president of marketing for consumer products at Etisalat, told the newspaper it was still in talks with Apple to provide UAE users with the FaceTime application.
“Normally such launches are controlled by Apple. Currently we are in discussions with them about this feature in particular,” Al Shamsi said.
FaceTime was also missing from iPhones on sale in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
“We are working closely with Apple to resolve the issue,” said Lana Khachan, a spokeswoman for Vodafone Qatar, told The National.