Direct evidence that FaceTime allows Apple and others to route around cell phone censorship

Middle Easterners get around iPhone 4 Facetime ban with iPod Touch 4G
[Via Edible Apple]

It’s probably not all that shocking that Apple’s Facetime video chat feature is not supported in a few draconian Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, and even relatively liberal countries like the United Arab Emirates. Folks in the Middle East looking to skirt around this ban, however, can make use of Facetime on Apple’s recently released iPod Touch via wi-fi. Sort of makes you wonder what the point of the ban is in the first place given that Facetime only works via wi-fi in the first place.

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Here we have customers using the Internet, Wi-Fi and Apple iOS devices to route around the control that cell phone carriers provide. I’ll bet these countries now try to prevent this use of Wi-fi but it becomes really hard since this is just data, not voice.

What happens when almost all neighborhoods have access to the internet via White-Fi or other technologies? Yes, there may be situations when access to a cell network is required but they will be fewer than we have today. And then, I can get a cheap cell phone, using my iOS devices to provide me access to the data I need.

iOS, FaceTime and White-fi may be the death knell of cell phone control at least for anyone who really cares. It could very easily be cheaper and would make the carriers simply relevant only as distributors of data.