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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. Schory's Avatar
      Schory -
      You guys who are saying that we won't get charged by AT&T because it's mobile to mobile need to get your facts straight. You won't get charged because you can only use facetime over WiFi, which has nothing to do with AT&T. This article is still pointless though >_>
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      all of us should just use what we know wont cost money and we know ATT will give us c r a p for using so there dont have to be million question can i do this, can i do that. keep it simple.
    1. stizzi's Avatar
      stizzi -
      Quote Originally Posted by delusion950 View Post
      all of us should just use what we know wont cost money and we know ATT will give us c r a p for using so there dont have to be million question can i do this, can i do that. keep it simple.
      This article is not useless...

      it was a question asked by many... With 3g unrestrictor, there will basically be free videocalling anytime. Its almost like jailbreaking worked in apple's favour in regards to the FaceTime app because they would like to make Facetime free over 3G but you know AT&T couldnt handle it so they allow 3gunrestrictor to do the job and AT&T cant say anything...

      Again... FaceTime is NOT only over Wifi if your phone is jailbroken and has 3gunrestrictor...
    1. mirogster's Avatar
      mirogster -
      Facials time...bump!
    1. smiska2's Avatar
      smiska2 -
      I'm sorry but this feature is WAY too little WAY too late. I had video calling via 3G on one of my old Sony Ericssons 4 years ago. Now apple want to think they're the great inventors by calling it "facetime" AND it's only via WiFi?

      How sad? I love my 3gs but see nothing in 4g that is going to make me want to upgrade...had they at least upgrade the storage space...
    1. stizzi's Avatar
      stizzi -
      Quote Originally Posted by smiska2 View Post
      I'm sorry but this feature is WAY too little WAY too late. I had video calling via 3G on one of my old Sony Ericssons 4 years ago. Now apple want to think they're the great inventors by calling it "facetime" AND it's only via WiFi?

      How sad? I love my 3gs but see nothing in 4g that is going to make me want to upgrade...had they at least upgrade the storage space...
      AT&T couldn't even handle regular 3G data... obviously they are not ready to take on everyone use FaceTime over 3G... thats why it said for "2010 Facetime is Wifi only" at the Apple iphone 4 unveiling...
    1. jcal08's Avatar
      jcal08 -
      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!!!
      Good thought.. Never even thought about it like that haha.. well maybe people were scared that when they facetime our friends from canada running on rogers they would lose all their minutes? haha
    1. 2Jaze's Avatar
      2Jaze -
      lol as hard as it's gonna be to get the iPhone 4, you'd be lucky if you AND someone you would even want to FaceTime with both got a phone on the 24th. Alot of people are gonna just connect to see it in action, then disconnect.

      I, for one, will not be FaceTime calling any dudes
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneApps View Post
      Before you people speak you should think. There are rumors that ATT is going to charge for data when using the femtocell which uses your existing internet connection. So if there are rumors about that why wouldn't there be rumors about this.

      And why wouldn't you think for a second that ATT wouldn't try and gouge it's customers...? They certainly did with the data rate changes.

      You people are giving ATT too much credit.
      Um, because its on Wifi!
    1. Carlos's Avatar
      Carlos -
      First off like they said its over Wifi so your not going to use minutes, but even if it wasn't think about it you only can Face with other iPhone which would make it mobile to mobile anyways!

      lol
    1. shore's Avatar
      shore -
      so ya gotta be on wifi to another ip4...that shuld work just excellent about 25% of the time.


      I wanna know when it's going to get hacked to do it all over data liek a voice call.
    1. bavdrftr318's Avatar
      bavdrftr318 -
      this is so obvious....
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Schory View Post
      You guys who are saying that we won't get charged by AT&T because it's mobile to mobile need to get your facts straight. You won't get charged because you can only use facetime over WiFi, which has nothing to do with AT&T. This article is still pointless though >_>
      You are actually the one who missed the argument these people are giving.

      IF Face time is only iPhone to iPhone
      +
      IF iPhone is only on ATT (USA)
      =
      THEN all iPhone to Iphone calls are ATT to ATT to begin with, hence they were free from the getgo, hence even if they "use minutes", the pool they are using minutes from is an infinite one.
    1. bosch88's Avatar
      bosch88 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      You are actually the one who missed the argument these people are giving.

      IF Face time is only iPhone to iPhone
      +
      IF iPhone is only on ATT (USA)
      =
      THEN all iPhone to Iphone calls are ATT to ATT to begin with, hence they were free from the getgo, hence even if they "use minutes", the pool they are using minutes from is an infinite one.
      you and people like you are so closed minded.. there other carriers in the world that is not AT&T that carry the iPhone 4. if you have friends or relatives in other countries, like the UK or Japan, which also have the iPhone 4 for now, and you had to call them via cell network, you will be charged long distance to initiate Facetime.. that is what everybody is wondering... everybody knows AT&T to AT&T in the USA is free.. how about when you are out of the country and wanted to do Facetime to your friend back in the USA? will you need to call long distance just to initate Facetime? Stop thinking USA and AT&T is the only country to have the iPhone 4...
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      3G unrestrictor + FaceTime= Lots of phone sex
    1. thuwun's Avatar
      thuwun -
      well considering that this seems to be a Captain obvious post. it really isn't because this is just the introduction to a new "US" technology. and they had to start somewhere with the billing details. these will continually change, as did data charges. right now there are 2 US phones with this capability the iPhone and Evo. and i'm sure more to come.

      Quote Originally Posted by DJM AutoWerkz View Post
      3G unrestrictor + FaceTime= Lots of phone sex
      I was just thinking of 3G unrestrictor....

      The JB community will again change the face of limitations/restrictions/& techology !
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      How is the quality of facetime? nobody i know has a iphone 4 yet

      Do you have to call the person, then go into facetime?
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      You can call 1-888-Facetime and video call with an Apple employee to try it out.
    1. jcal08's Avatar
      jcal08 -
      facetime works well only if both parties are on wifi.. i have 4 friends with iPhone 4's and ive chatted with them all.. you have the option to make a direct facetime call, but it takes longer to connect, so its really just easier to call the person then start the facetime call... when jailbreak is availible, im ganna try to use it with 3g unrestrictor.. hopefully it will work :-)
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      How long before FaceTime is reduced to being Chat Roulette for iPhone?

      Nintendo's 3DS totally should have been announced with a rotatable 3D camera. Now THAT would be a curious gimmick. This is just a webcam. Meh. I probably won't even use it with my twin brother on the other side of the country even though we both have iP4. Why do I care to see his face or drop what I'm doing to keep my face in view? Why do I want the call to run my battery dead faster? I don't.