I am planning to buy an iPhone 12 pro for my brother who is in Dubai now. But after a few months, he will go back to India.

Middle East version of the iPhone doesn't have face time installed by default because it is not supported in UAE. But, If he takes his iPhone to India, can he install and use the face time in India? We buy only the unlocked version.

I checked with the iPhone customer care. They say, ”it is completely based on the carrier you are using”. If I ask my service provider they are asking me to check with iPhone support.

Any suggestions?

  • Yes, it will work in India. I have an iPhone from the middle-east and while Facetime isn't available in UAE, it works fine in India. Note that I bought the phone from UAE but activated them in India.
    – sfxedit
    Jan 7 at 0:20

I would not expect FaceTime to work if you unlock a phone purchased in Middle East.

FaceTime may be unavailable if your device originates from this country or region and becomes unlocked or is used in another country or region.

The footnote is very broadly worded. My presumption is that phones sold in the entire region have legal or contractual restrictions causing FaceTime to be bound to specific carriers and/or the device remain in specific geographical boundaries for FaceTime to operate or be blocked. It’s unlikely even if you export it closed box and do first activation in India that you would bypass UAE intended restrictions. However, Apple did write this as a footnote, so I can’t say you’re out of luck across the board.

If you are uncertain when it’s time to spend your cash, be sure the return policy lets you test in India soon enough to return the device if you can’t be sure the features you need will work with the eventual carrier and eventual location. (Or be OK with whatever profit or loss you take reselling a “brand new phone” locally is acceptable risk)

  • 1
    This is what I really wanted to know. Anyhow I preordered the phone in UAE. I will post the result once he got back to India.
    – siddiq
    Oct 30 '20 at 7:14
  • Sounds great. An edit or new answer with actual tests are always welcome @siddiq
    – bmike
    Jan 6 at 12:30

Thanks, @bmike. FaceTime is working fine in India.

My brother had to travel back to India earlier than expected. So he unboxed it and created/activated account from India. It took 24 hours to get the FaceTime active, but then it started working fine.

To conclude, in my case, the Middle-east's unlocked version of iPhone and unboxed/activated the Apple Id from India doesn't have any issue in using FaceTime.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .