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  • No Cell Minutes Used for iPhone FaceTime Calls



    Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider is sharing some good news with iPhone 4 buyers and prospective buyers this weekend. According to his sources from Apple, the new FaceTime video calls - as hoped - won't use any carrier minutes even when initiated from within a voice call.

    The report comes as a welcome morsel of positive news as many AT&T customers have grown restless and eager to find out more about the potential costs and restrictions of the long-awaited iPhone video call feature.

    While some have accused both Apple and AT&T of using "cryptic language" when referring to the FaceTime feature, many of the details we've waited for are now finally be coming to light. After all, the Apple rep told Frommer that "The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects. The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so does not use carrier minutes." That's pretty straightforward and far from "cryptic."

    Apart from the ease with which carrier minutes would disintegrate if absorbed during FaceTime calls, some AT&T customers also expressed concern that a shoddy 3G mobile connection would preclude users from having an enjoyable, smooth video phone call. Wi-Fi reliability will underpin FaceTime calls, which won't have the voice call continued in the background as a "backup" should the video call abruptly end.

    For the next version of FaceTime that works over 3G, Apple and its carrier partners will need to decide how those calls are billed -- as minutes toward voice calling, as data toward monthly data caps, or both, or something entirely different.
    As our friends at Apple Insider reported, it is certainly possible but not yet confirmed that Apple may soon make it possible to initiate FaceTime calls from a future iPod touch - one designed with a corresponding camera optimized for such functionality.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: No Cell Minutes Used for iPhone FaceTime Calls started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 88 Comments
    1. screamforme02's Avatar
      screamforme02 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spiderguy84 View Post
      Sorry John. You're wrong. Anyone who watched wwdc knows you can only use face time with other iPhones. Every AT&T plan has unlimited mobile to mobile. So there's no reason anyone should have ever thought you'd get charged in face time.
      yeh you have obviously never made a video call over the network, that will never get stuck into free mobile to mobile. its to much data to give away.
    1. eortizr's Avatar
      eortizr -
      when you start your call it is using your carrier, but once you start the facetime it will switch to wifi, so therefore you are not using your minutes for the facetime part of the call...
    1. screamforme02's Avatar
      screamforme02 -
      i wouldnt put it past AT&T to use minuets for the facetime. AT&T gets to have video calls use your minuets and all the video is over your network. Sounds like good business model to me. Its not good for us but its makes sense for a business.

      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      You people will make an argument out of the color of the sky on a sunny day.

      CHILL!
      my sky is purple wanna fight about it. lol

      We will find out in a matter of days. thread is moot
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Happy Noodle and ADP pretty much summed it up. 'nuf said
    1. mattkeane88's Avatar
      mattkeane88 -
      I wonder if 3G unrestrictor will work with this? Or can be made to work with this?
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by screamforme02 View Post
      my sky is purple wanna fight about it. lolt
      dude imma fight you. it's green, obv
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Is there anyone here who actually thought you would be charged? Captain Obvious?
      this.

      was this article really necessary? Facetime only works on WiFi. so why in the hell would you be charged for data when it's not using data in the first place?


      Buhler? Buhler?
    1. tgabriel123's Avatar
      tgabriel123 -
      gosh that close up of steve is scary.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That would be nice.
    1. holycowe's Avatar
      holycowe -
      Usa At&t iphone 4 facetime with iphone 4 o2 in uk.
      Or iphone 4 at&t with iphone 4 unlocked on tmobile (usa)
    1. nightdrangon's Avatar
      nightdrangon -
      aren't more facetime devices coming out?
    1. remag49's Avatar
      remag49 -
      I wonder if you would get charged if you use face call and u use the hack to think its on wifi
      i forgot the name of the app though
      "unrestrictor" i think
    1. cheekydevil1234's Avatar
      cheekydevil1234 -
      Just remember there is a whole world out side the USA you know. In Australia back in 2001/2002 when we first had video chat on mobiles it was charged at a seperate rate of use to voice and sms etc. The platform however now has changed with data included on mobile (in the past you never really used your mobile for internet and data) I also thought they mentioned that facetime would be an open source so they could try and intergrate it across the board?
    1. Adam3882's Avatar
      Adam3882 -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Is there anyone here who actually thought you would be charged? Captain Obvious?
      Quote Originally Posted by spiderguy84 View Post
      Seriously a waste of an article. You can only make facetime calls to other iPhone 4 users. iPhone is only with AT&T. AT&T calls to other AT&T customers already don't use minutes. A big fat duh!!!
      Quote Originally Posted by faymus View Post
      slow news day huh?
      Quote Originally Posted by spiderguy84 View Post
      Sorry John. You're wrong. Anyone who watched wwdc knows you can only use face time with other iPhones. Every AT&T plan has unlimited mobile to mobile. So there's no reason anyone should have ever thought you'd get charged in face time.
      Quote Originally Posted by AlexCrammer View Post
      It doesn't use minutes because you do it over Wi-Fi. ?????
      Quote Originally Posted by eortizr View Post
      duuuhhh wifi only,, is not that obvious?

      i couldnt agree more...i never though for a minute that there would be a charge for video calls...mobile-to-mobile and its over wifi??!!...really!!

      how long do you think its gonna take before there's a crack to use it over 3g.?
    1. Kil0111's Avatar
      Kil0111 -
      might be a little off topic...but has anyone received money back from apple after pre-ordering their iphone?...ive already received an e-mail about it being shipped out..and i have the tracking number and when i ordered on the 15th it took the $212.93 out of my accnt but now its back in...this supposed to happen?
    1. DoYouLikeLuxury?'s Avatar
      DoYouLikeLuxury? -
      Would facetime work with google voice? Since google voice calls my number when someone dials my GV number, would the network see it as me connecting to google and not another iPhone?

      Sorry if it's a stupid question I'm just curious.
    1. PAKIS-RULEZ's Avatar
      PAKIS-RULEZ -
      for face call to work both need to be on wifi odds r 10%..... enjoy doing face call idk y every one carving on it if if you to talk face to face from 1 country to another country to ur relatives then its good other then that its a useless feature... who wants to do face call when u calling your friend not your gf..... pluse the odds of your friends having iphone 4 is vslim....
    1. ikkviper's Avatar
      ikkviper -
      Quote Originally Posted by mattkeane88 View Post
      I wonder if 3G unrestrictor will work with this? Or can be made to work with this?
      I was thinking the same thing! P.S. I love jailbreaking. lol
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Is there anyone here who actually thought you would be charged? Captain Obvious?
      This is what I'm wondering. Apple mentioned one of the codecs it was built around was SIP. If AT&T starts counting SIP done over Wifi as Voice minutes, then they finally will have jumped the shark. They might as well pack it in, at that point. There will literally be nothing evil left for them to do to their customers without crossing the line into cartoonish-super-villianry.
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      For those that are saying ATT to ATT calls are free anyways, it is, but once again it is thru WIFI. But if someday the iphone 4 become jailbreaked and unlocked, which we know it gonna be real soon, even T-Mobile and with another carriers, FaceTime are going to be free anyways, I think you got the idea now.

      Quote Originally Posted by mattkeane88 View Post
      I wonder if 3G unrestrictor will work with this? Or can be made to work with this?
      Shhhhhhhhhh, don't say it too loud...