One of the priciest countries on the planet to buy an iPhone claims that Apple is violating competition rules — thereby driving up prices for customers.
Egypt, where an iPhone costs up to 50 percent more than in the rest of the Middle East, accuses Apple of placing unfair restrictions on local distributors. According to a report, this behavior is the reason customers have to pay so much in the country.
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.