Apple's iMessage is now “a black hole for text messages” sent to non-iOS devices

Apple's iMessage is now “a black hole for text messages” sent to non-iOS devices
Have you ever switched to a phone other than an iPhone, only to discover you no longer receive messages from your friends and relatives sent to you through iMessage? You are not alone. Apparently, the issue is a big elephant in the room for Apple, and a healthy gunpowder reserve for sensationalists who claim that the iPhone maker does it for the purpose of keeping its users away from steering to other platforms. While we wouldn't go as far, Apple's refusal to solve the problem while acknowledging it is quite disturbing.

The issue at hand is that iMessage is a separate messaging system which has apparent problems with delivering messages to devices that do not run iOS. Users' texts seem to get stuck either permanently, or for a duration of time inside the system. This only happens if the recipient is using another mobile platform, because it seems the system gets stuck trying to find your one-time iMessage address.

Apple has not commented formally on the issue, but its customer support has been acknowledging the problem while unable to fix it. In addition, Apple advises iPhone users to turn off iMessage if they intend to transfer their SIM cards and phone numbers to a non-iOS device on its help page. If they don't, iOS devices will try in vain to send messages through iMessage, instead of SMS or MMS for up to 45 days.

Lifehacker's Adam Pash has written a detailed report on the matter, which you might find interesting if the "iMessage purgatory" issue concerns you. His words paint a pretty accurate assessment of the situation: "Most of my friends have iPhones. My phone number hasn’t changed. But my number is now a black hole for text messages."

source: Adam Pash via Business Radar

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74 Comments

1. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

iControl!!!

13. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Apple: iRefuse!!!

49. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Something similar happened in my country back in the Blackberry Era... with the BBM.... And by the time they released BBM on other OS, everybody was using Whatsapp, Viber, iMessage, Hangouts... I care very little if I do not have 1 of the popular IM services... there are many other options... I even ended up uninstalling most and keeping Whatsapp, FB Messenger, and Hangouts.... Most of my friends with iPhones use at least whatsapp... and if they really want to talk to you they will write to you no matter which service... I have preached Hangout to my friends and family, but not because of how good the app is (cause it is not as good anyway) but because it is able to chat with almost any OS, including Windows and Mac over gmail...

16. emvxl

Posts: 141; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

iFeature.

34. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

iDon'tCare

17. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Buying an apple device is tantamount to entering a black hole.

19. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Wallet goes in a black hole $$ -0

57. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I actually liked iMessage more than what we got from Hangouts at first when I compared them... but today even though I still dislike Hangouts overall design.. it is still way more practical and you have full control over how you want to send your messages... SMS or Hangouts... and the later will show you if the person is online or not... So Hangouts took the upper hand with its recent updates.

37. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Apple & their questionable moves...

43. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

What the heck are you talking about, it's just uTTer and complete iFailure (AGAIN)!!!

2. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Hmm.....Apple refusing to solve a problem.because the people aren't their customers anymore. Wow...just wow.

28. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

how is that wow ! if you buy my products and need help i'll help you but if you're using another product why would i help you ?

50. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Because your customers can't text their friends. It isn't the friends problem only, it's yours as well. So when they find out iMessage is eating their texts, your customers will blame you, not their friend who jumped ship to another device.

58. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Because you already paid the Apple tax. You pay 3 times what you would pay another company so Apple can look like they have great customer service. And if they don't have to provide great customer service, they just bank the money. That is how they have 100 billion plus. Oh wait....people don't realize this yet and just think Apple has great customer service... Okay move on. I'll just revisit this when the rest of itards realize this.

62. njguy

Posts: 11; Member since: May 26, 2013

So the people that still have iPhones and can't text their friends/relatives/contacts who don't have an iPhone are not Apple customers ? The people that swicthed their phone but still have an iPad/iPod are not Apple customers ? Apple has no responsibility to them ?

3. Jklaz

Posts: 159; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

When my s3 broke I had to go to an ip5. Now that I'm on my s5, a lot of my friends are having trouble texting me. Customer support said it should be resolved, but it's still going on. That week with the iPhone was hell. Now it's makin my life more difficult. Thanks apple.

4. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Apple is just isolating itself further and they will be the one who suffer from this.

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Turn off iMessage. Problem solved.

11. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It still doesn't fix it for some users, and it's not as simple as turning off I message. You also have to go into your iTunes account and unregister your device. It's unnecessary hoops for the customer to jump through.

20. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

@Sniggly I had the same problem years ago and turning off imessage worked for me.

23. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

I had the same problem 2 months ago. Turning off imessage doesn't work anymore. you have to unregister the account even after that you still have to wait. i waited for 4 days till i had full texting capabilities.

26. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Never had that problem.

27. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It works for most cases. I think sniggly is exaggerating here.

36. iCloud

Posts: 125; Member since: May 15, 2014

I agree. My main phone is an iphone and i change to a new android phone to try at least once a month. Everytime i turn off iMessage wait 5 minutes before removing the sim and placing it on an android phone. No problem at all. Last one i did was the m8 (2 weeks ago), so turning it off does work as i can confirm.

71. Fernandito31

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

no my friend I'm a manager of one of the biggest carriers in US and this is the bigguest issue we are seeing fem customers moving from an iPhone to android, and then the recommendation from apple customer care is the dumbest thing ever: "turn off iMessage, delete all your contacts that had iPhone and add them again or tell all your contacts that had iPhone to delete you from their contact list and also to delete the message conversation and create a new one" really???

22. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

for 90% of users yes simply turning off imessage is the key, or going to your account to deactivate your device. I deal with this daily, and a simple call to apple triggers a unregister, and within 24hrs it is working again. i have yet to have it last longer than that for hundreds of customers.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Funny because it has worked for others. Let's not get on the subject of unnecessary hoops for the customer. Should I go dig up the old skeletons out of Motorola's closet?

32. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

@Mxy regardless it's a huge annoyance for anyone switching phones. I was able to figure this out on my own but many people I know were not able to and were blaming the Android ecosystem when it is clearly Apple being negligent.

35. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Google and Android OEMs are just as guilty of being negligent, if not more.

48. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

But it doesn't make it right because Google and Android OEMs do negligent things as well.. It's a horrible and unethical practice to screw over a person when switching phones no matter who does it.

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