A former iPhone user is suing Apple over alleged “interference” with the delivery of text messages after switching to an Android device.
According to Bloomberg, plaintiff Adrienne Moore is suing Apple in a court in San Jose, Calif., alleging that, after she switched to a Samsung smartphone, she could no longer receive text messages from iPhone users.
The complaint alleges that defecting users are being “penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts.” Moore is demanding unspecified damages over the fact that Apple failed to disclose that switching to a competing platform might cause service interference.
A known bug
So, what’s going on here? Is Apple purposely withholding or delaying text messages, as a sort of punishment for defecting to a rival platform? Most likely not.
The issue that the plaintiff is complaining about has been known for a while, and Apple recently acknowledged it as a bug. The problem happens when Apple fails to de-register phone numbers from its iMessage database, and attempts to forward texts to iMessage, even if the user no longer has access to the service. In some cases, this leads to loss of messages.
In what seems to be a related issue, some former iPhone users report that their text messages arrive with long delays on their new Android devices.
This issue only happens with texts sent from iPhones, but, with the prevalence of Apple’s smartphone in the US, it can be a serious inconvenience.
What to do
Apple recommends users to turn iMessage off on their iPhones before they remove the SIM card from their devices. This action, should, in theory, disconnect the phone number from the Apple ID, but that doesn’t always work.
If you’re experiencing the same problem after switching to Android, try popping your SIM back into an iPhone and then de-registering from iMessage from Settings>Messages. If that doesn’t work or if you can’t get hold of an iPhone, one workaround that Apple support recommends is to ask your contacts to delete your number from their contacts and re-add you as a mobile contact. Of course, this is hardly a solution, but at least for the most important contacts, it may be worth the trouble.
For more details, former Lifehacker editor Adam Pash is talking about his own frustrating attempts to solve the issue here.
Have you ever experienced or heard of this problem?