iPhone Users Report iMessage Deactivation Issue Linked to T-Mobile eSIM Accounts [Updated]

Some iPhone users on T-Mobile's cellular service are reportedly experiencing an eSIM bug that causes iMessage and FaceTime to deactivate for their phone number, with no way to reactivate it.

General Apps Messages
Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman brought the issue to light by tweeting about his own experience with the issue. Gurman said the only solution that worked for him was getting a physical SIM card.

There is a very nasty iPhone and @TMobile bug where iMessage and FaceTime for a device's phone number will randomly deactivate and there is no way to reactivate it. The only solution that worked for me is getting a new physical SIM card. An extremely disappointing issue.

In a follow-up tweet, Gurman said another solution that had worked for some was to remove the eSim account from the ‌iPhone‌ and then set it up again. "But that's complex for most people and shouldn't need to ever be done," he added.

Gurman said the T-Mobile store representative who helped him quickly activate a physical SIM for his ‌iPhone‌ revealed that other customers had visited the store with the same eSIM issue after Apple had been unable to resolve it, suggesting it could be an increasingly widespread problem.

"This issue for sure has existed on iOS 15.4, iOS 15.5, and iOS 15.6 beta 1," Gurman continued in another tweet. "Potentially earlier too, but that's all I can confirm right now."

The Twitter thread has since received replies from other T-Mobile customers chiming in with similar experiences, with some reporting that Apple is aware of the issue but the company has not been able to resolve it. We'll update this post if we learn more about the eSIM issue, which appears to be limited to T-Mobile customers at this time.

Update: T-Mobile said they are working with Apple to try to resolve the issue, according to a follow-up tweet from Gurman.

Tags: T-Mobile, eSIM

Top Rated Comments

Sheepish-Lord Avatar
6 weeks ago

.... FIRST !! Annnnd this is why you should stick with a physical SIM card.
One of the reasons. I tried the e-SIM route with Verizon and it was a headache. The rep didn't even really know how to do it or what I was talking about even though it had been available for years at this point. Then when I did get one I found myself in a position where I was swapping between phones so an eSIM was absolutely worthless as I had to call customer service EVERY time I swapped devices or bought a new phone. This needs to be something you can do online, without a customer rep, in order to make things easier. I went back to a physical SIM and don't regret it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
6 weeks ago
If this is only affecting T-Mobile customers, it's unlikely to be only an Apple issue (i.e., there's something with T-Mobile's network or its network settings also playing a role). Hopefully Apple and T-Mobile engineers can figure it out.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
6 weeks ago

Inability to swap phones at will, without dealing with CS is why I switched from Sprint to GSM/SIM only, somewhere in the early 2000s. Long before iPhone.

When Apple announced eSIM, I was like "Nope... NEVER!"
You don't have to deal with CS in order to switch eSIMs around between devices. The idea is that you can manage eSIM profiles on the device itself. If anything, eSIMs make switching carriers easier because you don't have to physically visit a store to get a SIM card (or wait for it to be delivered in the mail!).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canezmd Avatar
6 weeks ago
I had this issue about 2 months ago... iPhone 13 pro max esim on t-mobile. Did software update and lost iMessage. Spent 2 days on the phone with apple who had me do every reset known to man. Apple was about to have me wipe the phone and reinstall the OS, but then I went onto the apple forums.

On the apple forums there were MANY people with the same issue and several of them had solved it by getting a physical SIM card. I posted about this in the macrumors forums too. I got a physical sim, turned off esim, and everything has been fine since then.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xpxp2002 Avatar
6 weeks ago
I used to use eSIM on AT&T, but it was always a bit flaky. The most memorable bug: SMS character count always said 0/0 unless you had a physical SIM in the device as well. There is an open (and surprisingly, acknowledged) bug report with Apple. But as far as I know, it has been well over a year since I first reported it with iOS 14 and remains unfixed.

It surprised me that Apple shipped their iPhone 13 models with eSIM, given how unreliable and buggy eSIM has proven to be.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apleeseed84 Avatar
6 weeks ago
I swapped my physical SIM card to esim on my iPad Pro and I too can’t log into iMessage, no matter how many times I type in my password I get that error, I have AT&T
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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