A few days ago, one of our readers reached out to us with a peculiar problem. The FaceTime app was not working on his iPhone. He thought of deleting the app and re-installing it. But, after deleting the app, he was unable to find it on the App Store. After searching for FaceTime on Google and visiting the App Store with the search link, FaceTime was showing no download button. Instead, it was showing an error that reads, “This app requires specific features not available on this device.” Now, this is the first time we heard of this error. So, after researching this error, this is what we have learned. If FaceTime is not working on your iPhone too, read along as we show you what the FaceTime App Requires Specific Features error means.
FaceTime Showing App Requires Specific Features Error
In my quest to find what this error means, I found that “This app requires specific features not available on this device” is not specific to FaceTime. In fact, if there’s an app that is not supported on your iPhone, Apple displays the same error for it. For example, in iOS 13, Apple replaced the ‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Find my Friends’ app with ‘Find My‘ app.
So, if you try to install the older apps on iOS 13 or the newer Find My app on the older version of iOS, it will throw the same error, as shown in the picture above. The problem we faced was that FaceTime is supported on all current iOS versions. So there is no reason that it should throw this error. Or, is there?
Why FaceTime is Showing the Error
The reason FaceTime is showing this error on your iPhone is that your iPhone doesn’t support FaceTime. If you bought your iPhone from UAE or certain other middle east countries, FaceTime will not work. It’s because these countries have banned FaceTime by law. Talking about UAE, it has banned FaceTime and all other VoIP services. They don’t want these apps to surpass its voice call monopoly. Hence, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority or TRA, which is a sate-run carrier service in UAE, has banned VoIP apps.
If you buy a phone from these countries FaceTime will not work. You can not even install the app on your iPhone. However, if you bought your iPhone from any other country, say the US or India, FaceTime will only show this error if you are visiting any of the middle eastern countries where it is banned. That said, you can use a VPN to use FaceTime in this case.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Phone from Middle East Countries
If you live in India or any other country where the iPhone costs a lot more thanks to exorbitant taxes, you might be tempted to buy an iPhone from Dubai. However, you shouldn’t do that, as you won’t be able to use FaceTime on your iPhone. It is because the ban on FaceTime is tied to the model number of your iPhone. So, if you are thinking that FaceTime will start working as soon as you get out of UAE. It won’t happen. To check if an iPhone supports FaceTime or not go to Settings -> General -> About -> Model and check the model number of the iPhone.
If the iPhone has AE, AB, or AH in the model number, then it’s from a country where FaceTime is banned. We got an iPhone 11 in our office which we purchase purchased from Dubai. And you can see it contains “AE” in its model number. The point is that if you want to use FaceTime on your iPhone, you should never get it from UAE or other banned countries. Click here to check the complete list of wireless carrier support and features for iPhone in the Middle East.
Is There Anything We Can Do to Fix This?
Sadly, no. Apple is in talks with the UAE government to lift the ban. But it has not been fruitful so far. Until the government officially lifts off the ban, there’s nothing you can do to solve this problem.