Apple pleased several iPhone users when it added the ability to use FaceTime over cellular networks in the forthcoming iOS 6 software update, but it has been learned that AT&T may be planning on restricting access or charging for the video chat service over its network.
As discovered by MacRumors, a new dialog box in iOS 6 beta 3 directs AT&T customers to contact the carrier by phone or web in order to enable FaceTime over cellular on their account. This situation occurs when an iPhone user on AT&T attempts to toggle on FaceTime over cellular data under Settings.
The same error message does not appear when attempting to activate FaceTime over cellular on an iPhone that uses Verizon Wireless. It is unknown if other iPhone carriers will follow suit with AT&T by disabling FaceTime over cellular by default or implementing a charge for accessing the service.
AT&T has responded to these FaceTime claims, but only talked vaguely about iOS 6 and did not confirm the accuracy of these rumors. “We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS 6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available,” the carrier stated.
In addition, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson spoke out on the issue, but only skirted the issue and did not provide any additional information about the claims. “It’s too early,” said Stephenson at a conference in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday. “We’re working with Apple right now to work out stabilizing — it’s too early to talk about pricing.”