Apple's iMessage Delivery Problems Worsened by Server Glitch
iPhone owners switching from their iPhone to another device often encounter an issue with lost messages that are incorrectly delivered to their inactive iPhone, instead of their new phone. This issue is a long-standing problem that was recently made worse by a server glitch, claims Apple in a statement provided to Re/code.
Apple's iMessage service allows iPhone owners to exchange messages using Apple's iMessage servers, instead of the carrier's text messaging network. The system relies on the accurate identification of the originating and recipient devices as iPhones. When this identification fails, the message delivery system falls apart.
The lost messages problem arises when an iPhone owner switches to another smartphone, such as an Android device, and keeps their existing number. In select cases, Apple's iMessage service continues to recognize the phone number as being attached to an iPhone, instead of the new Android device. This recognition mistake causes a problem with messaging as Apple's iMessaging servers will route the message as an iMessage instead of converting it to a standard text message.
Apple advises iPhone owners to turn off iMessage on their phone and uncheck the number in other iMessage-compatible devices attached their iCloud account before switching devices. This method doesn't always remove the phone number from Apple's iMessage server, forcing former iPhone owners to contact Apple to remove them from the iMessage system manually. A recent server glitch has disabled this manual removal, leaving Apple support representatives temporarily unable to fix this problem for some customers.
“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,” Apple told Re/code in a statement. “For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare.”
Apple has not provided a time-frame for the release of this software update. Until a fix is in place, customers will have to contact AppleCare for further guidance on how to handle this troublesome issue.