Apple doesn’t have an official retail presence in the Middle East… yet. Recent job listings spotted by ifoAppleStore indicate that the company is looking to open at least one store in the United Arab Emirates by next year.
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When the iPhone 4 launched in the Middle East — specifically in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar — it did so without support for FaceTime. Needless to say, this prompted some speculation. Why would Apple have dropped theFaceTime capability only from Middle Eastern iPhone 4? Was it a carrier restriction… or was Apple trying to sidestep Middle Eastern governments getting interested in regulating the new video chat standard?
It now seems like the real explanation probably has more to do with carrier restrictions than anything else. According to iRamadah, FaceTime works in the Middle East on the new iPod Touches, despite the fact that even on the iPhone 4, FaceTime is a WiFi-only standard. Seems at this point more likely that the carriers kicked for whatever reason than anything to do with Big Brother.