iPhone 4 FaceTime will not use carrier minutes

iPhone 4 FaceTime one tap call

Even though Wi-Fi is required to use FaceTime, because it can be initiated from a voice call it was unclear if it would also use minutes from your voice plan. Apple has confirmed with Business Insider that "the voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects," so it will not cost you voice minutes to use FaceTime.

This is great news and it certainly raises hope that among those 10 million FaceTime-enabled devices Steve Jobs mentioned at WWDC 2010 will be believes it is indication that FaceTime will be available in the next generation iPod touch expected to be announced this fall. However, we are uncertain what this means for the future when FaceTime become available over 3G. It likely won't be strictly considered a voice call; but will it be a combination of voice and data, or strictly data? This could have a huge impact on the data caps that AT&T has implemented. It is also possible that carriers will create a new "voice calling" category with separate limits. Only time will tell.

What do you expect will be the case? More importantly, does the fact that FaceTime over Wi-Fi doesn't use up your voice minutes encourage you to use FaceTime more than you were originally planning? Sound off in the comments below!

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 31 comments. Add yours.

Leo says:

Well as far as AT&T...wouldn't it be considered mobile to mobile minutes??

pizzafootbal says:

Thanks Apple! I know many people love what generosity you show! When you show it.

Fedy says:

I certainly hope that a new plan for FaceTime is not created; that just would be too much, like keep it clean and simple. If it's going to use the minutes so be it.

fastlane says:

Are the people, who are excited about video calling, the same people who only text now because they refuse to speak to anyone anymore? Good luck with that. :roll:

Mitchell says:

Free FaceTime call!? That's why it's £499 in the uk for a pay and go phone. No wonder!

Adam says:

Hey, is that Gray Powell in the picture?

Mitchell says:

@Adam Gray powell is aparantly the man who lost the iPhone 4 prototype. And he ain't him

behrlover says:

LOL, for AT&T users this doesn't really mean anything. Mobile to Mobile minutes...duh!

Redshirt says:

This is confusing. Are they talking about FaceTime over 3G here? I think it's a nobrainer that AT&T wouldn't be charging you minutes for using FaceTime over your own non-AT&T WiFi...

green says:

ben that is a good point but once international waters get the phone then it would make a difference, :) and
fastlane, texting will still be strong but it would be awesome for those with family and/or friends oversea..or if you're studying abroad and want to keep in touch with those at home..etc

iDavey says:

Right...for US phone owners, I don't think it'd be too much of a big deal seeing as only AT&T have iPhones and it will be mobile 2 mobile either way.

fastlane says:

I agree video calling is awesome. Personally, I only make calls and never text. I was only asking because it amuses me how so many here, who constantly remark that they never use their phones anymore because of SMS and Twitter, suddenly want to talk to people again simply because of new technology.

matt says:

I'm pretty sure the point here is that once FaceTime is initiated, the voice connection ends. So FaceTime is strictly data (over Wi-Fi). Therefore I think it's plausible to assume that when carriers allow it, FaceTime will simply use data over 3G since the cellular voice call is terminated. Carriers won't need to keep track of your minutely FaceTime usage over 3G since they're already monitoring your data usage. In fact, since FaceTime only uses data, carriers technically don't even need to enable it--a simple update to the software from Apple (or the jailbreak community?) would just allow it to take place over a 3G data session.
Apple most likely hasn't enabled it yet for one or two of two reasons:
1. Carriers don't want to deal with additional data usage yet so Apple is doing them a favor
2. 3G data sessions are too unreliable for a consistent and reliable FaceTime experience over 3G

OneOfDaKine says:

Of course it's not going to use minutes since it's running off of WIFI. Does your data plan get use up when you are on WIFi? Let me answer that for you "NO". Why post a question like that when the answer is right there infront of you...

Macboy74 says:

It's on wifi only right? Why would it use carrier minutes

behrlover says:

@Macboy15 - Because though the Facetime part only works over Wifi, you still have to start it by calling someone.

pizzafootbal says:

iOS4 is now available!!! I am downloading it NOW!!

driazen says:

The thing that I think is hilarious about the whole thing is that AT&T has had video calling as an option for a while. My old Treo 750 could have had it for an additional fee to my account and it was over 3g, however who would want to use it and almost no phone it was available for had a front facing camera such that it would always be one way the person seeing couldn't be the one talking etc. We finally get a phone on at&t with a front facing camera and its own built in video conferencing software and its the only one you CAN'T video call over 3G on :)

Cuthain says:

Doesn't AT&T already have a video connect thing they charge seperately for? Wouldn't it likely just fall in line with that? Also, video calls over non-Asian cellular networks? HAHAHAHAHA!

Frank says:

This only works iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 which currently is only offered on AT&T, which would make mobile to mobile calling with AT&T customers for free. So there should have been no question about this

Leanna Lofte says:

There are other countries that offer the iPhone 4 that do not use AT&T.

estebancam says:

Why was this even a question? It's only available on wifi, why would it use minutes? I have Evo 4G... and I can use mine on 3G. Just fine.

Richard Card says:

I used to use video calling over 3G on vodaphone in the uk a few years back. We used nokia's at the time & quality wasn't all that but was pretty fun! They had a seperate minutes fir video calling tied into the contract.

Rackm Willie says:

You people are all morons.

Akuarius says:

Well, It's great for communications outside US, no roaming charges if it's WiFi. You can see/talk to someone in Europe for free basically.

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Richard Dickinson says:

New to iPhone, but I for 1 will be using the FaceTime more than my Voice minutes where applicable, of course not everyone has an iPhone or can afford one.