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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. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      for some reason i thought ATT was eventually gonna let facetime work on 3G but.. charge you data of course.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      I am the same as some others here. I am the only person around me that has the iPhone or going to get the iPhone 4 so I will not be using the FaceTime calls but would like to...
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      I am the same as some others here. I am the only person around me that has the iPhone or going to get the iPhone 4 so I will not be using the FaceTime calls but would like to...
      Well... uhmm, are you female?


      LOL im kidding
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      ^ Yes I am sweetie last time I looked
    1. Kil0111's Avatar
      Kil0111 -
      hey miss fairy a/s/l
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      ^ Yes I am sweetie last time I looked
      ok with that said invitation is open anytime you'd like to test this new FaceTime out once it's released
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      I am probably old enough to be both of your moms guys... lol but will take you up on that invite bobright when I get my new phone... might be awhile because I want the white one..
    1. Kil0111's Avatar
      Kil0111 -
      ahhh a silver fox.. niceeee ...hope they have 3-way calling on that face time
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      @thetoothfairy

      lol
      sure let me know
    1. un4qiv3n's Avatar
      un4qiv3n -
      Automatic redial...

      Has anybody put you on hold then hung up by mistake...
      It calls that person back automatically so it could be as simple as when the call goes to facetime it switches to 3g and if the call should drop it will auto dial the last phone back.... that way the call is ended and no minutes used on facetime and it will call back if the video-chat is interrupted..

      just a thought
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Seriously, no FaceTime app for 3G/3GS? or Mac?
      WTF.
      Put it out, make it receive-only for 3G/3GS, two-way for Mac: 3G/3GS owners get half-benefit and drool until they upgrade and Mac users get another reason to be Mac users.
    1. M4tt Dam0n's Avatar
      M4tt Dam0n -
      **** that I'd never pay for it. 3G unrestrictor ftw. And with jailbreak I'm sure we'll be able to call on other smartphones and computers with skype.
    1. margret's Avatar
      margret -
      Hey which is the best deals for apple iphone with orange or O2?
    1. morrbidotoni's Avatar
      morrbidotoni -
      is the iOS4 going to be released today?
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      video calling has been around for a while, you think its cool for a few days, then relise how stupid it is and never use it again
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thetoothfairy View Post
      I am probably old enough to be both of your moms guys...


      guess that puts you in your fifties. how does it feel?
    1. tma's Avatar
      tma -
      This could be a hint that facetime is coming to the next generation of ipod as well.
    1. MBCMDR's Avatar
      MBCMDR -
      I have heard Skype will be kicking out a new version to support Facetime. They in past had a video phone from ASUS so know they can do it, now just have to follow apple facetime code format. As any standard Skype version update it would be across the board for all SKYPE (win,mac,linux etc) allowing other smart phones. This making it possable to call non-iphone but belive it would require SkypeOut account level.

      MBCMDR
    1. Imsorussian's Avatar
      Imsorussian -
      So if i call to skype it wont use min and ill be able to see? All we need is updated 3g unrestrictor and we good
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      What about international calls?

      Is it possible that
      jailbroken 3G-unrestricted iPhone+ facetime + international call= free unlimited international calls?