Last week, a lawsuit filed by a former iPhone user against Apple brought back to light an issue that has long tormented users switching from Apple to competing platforms.
The issue, which surfaced as early as 2011, prevents text messages sent to some former iOS users from reaching their intended recipients. It happens when a user does not de-register their phone number from Apple’s iMessage service before moving their SIM to a, say, Android device. When another iMessage user sends a message to the “defector,” the message is routed through iMessage instead of SMS, effectively remaining stuck on a platform that the intended recipient can no longer access.
Missing out on texts from loved ones or business contacts is frustrating, at the very least, as several of our readers have recounted in the comments on our post from last week.
Making the issue even worse was the fact that Apple’s support wasn’t always able to manually disconnect phone numbers from inactive iMessage accounts. For this reason, some users had no option but to ask acquaintances to manually delete their contact information from their iPhones and re-add them as simple mobile contacts.
Faced with intense media coverage and the threat of a class-action lawsuit, Apple has moved to fix the issue that prevented its support staff from manually fixing the issue for affected users.
Here’s Apple’s statement to Re/code:
“We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update. For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare.”
So, while the actual bug that causes the lost messages is still active, Apple should now be able to fix the issue for you.