It is 2017 and surprisingly, FaceTime is still banned in Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. This truly does not make any logical sense as most of the Apple iPhone’s in and around those countries are brought in through deregulated methods.

Anyone who purchases an iPhone which was procured from any other country than the mentioned three, can easily access and use FaceTime. Less than 20 percent of the remaining Apple iPhones do not have FaceTime capability due to regional bans on the service.

This comes as a surprise since in Pakistan, there is easy access to a variety of other apps which get the job done. Instead of FaceTime, those Apple iPhone owners who lack the feature on their mobiles, can use Facebook messenger, WhatsApp Video Calling, Skype and countless others. This is why it is really hard to understand the continued use of a useless ban.

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Hurting Official Apple Distributors


The drawback of getting an Apple iPhone from other retailers rather than the official distributors in Pakistan and the UAE is the lack of a local warranty. Prices are normally high for unregulated Apple iPhones, specifically since they are capable of allowing the use of FaceTime.

This lack of FaceTime, in return, forces people to choose iPhone mobiles from retailers other than the official ones. The most pushed for feature when choosing where to get your Apple iPhone device from in Pakistan is FaceTime. It has become a make or break deal for most consumers, because really, without FaceTime an iPhone loses much of its value.

Since Apple has no official outlets of their own in Pakistan, consumers are forced into choosing the deregulated options instead. Which points a finger towards authorities to having failed in ensuring any sort of enforcement on the ban.

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Telecommunications Profiting from a FaceTime Ban in UAE, Saudi Arabia


It was said somewhere that three activities are seriously intolerable while using internet in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. First being any activity related to terrorism, which is completely understandable. Then came viewing adult content. Sure sounds fine. Last was ‘Voice Over IP’. Now that is too much, don’t you think?

Widely believed to be the cause of VoIP services being banned in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, other than FaceTime as well, is the lack of revenue generation for telecommunication companies. Call rates from and to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are extremely expensive and the use of VoIP would kill the huge profits being made by the monopoly of these companies.

Instead of creating an environment for competition, innovative packages and pricing, the countries continue to enforce a narrow minded vision which is focused on snatching whatever they can from consumers. Pakistan, on the other hand is much better off, as there are a number of well reputed companies which provide excellent packages and rates for millions of customers. These Pakistani telecom companies are actually winning with VoIP, not losing.

Ultimately, we are living in an age where information reaches millions of people in a matter of seconds. No matter what these governments continue banning and how they go about it, another developer will come up with another solution and the process will go on. Where they close one door, another opportunity pops up for competing app developers.

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What do you think about the FaceTime ban in Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia? Should it stay banned or allowed for future Apple iPhone mobiles? Let us know in the comments section below or on the TechBizWeb Facebook page.