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Apple's iPhone 4 won't have FaceTime at launch in the Middle East

Customers in the Middle East who purchase an iPhone 4 will not have FaceTime video chat functionality, as the feature is "currently unavailable" in the region.

As noted Friday by TUAW, du, the official iPhone carrier in United Arab Emirates, revealed that the iPhone 4 will not be able to make FaceTime calls at launch. The handset is set to debut in the country on Saturday.

"Our iPhone 4 customers won't be able to make Facetime calls, as this feature is currently unavailable in the UAE," the company wrote on its official Twitter account.

Users who wrote to the carrier on Twitter were met with the response: "It's not in our hands and we'll keep you posted of any further updates." No further details were given.

Graphics for the iPhone 4 on Apple's official websites for United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen and other countries in the region were also modified earlier this week to remove a graphic showing FaceTime in action.

In the west, Apple has had a different kind of issue with FaceTime: The service currently only works over Wi-Fi, as wireless carriers who offer the iPhone 4 will not allow the video chat feature over their 3G networks. When he unveiled the iPhone in June, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said his company needs to "work a bit" with the cellular providers.