Apple's iMessage Delivery Problems Worsened by Server Glitch

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 22, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    Article Link: Apple's iMessage Delivery Problems Worsened by Server Glitch
  2. uknowimright macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2011
    AppleCare rep: "In order to resolve this issue it is recommended you purchase an iPhone"
  3. oldmacs macrumors 68040

    Sep 14, 2010
    Damn. I thought it was also going to fix the iMessage sync problems. My 3GS(It is an iPod now, no sim card) , iPad 2 and Macbook keep in sync but my iPhone 5 is always out of sync -_- its very very annoying. I do have all the right settings but it still happens :(
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Apple seems unable to get their hands around this problem. I've had issues with iMessage on and off since the roll out - very disappointed.
  5. needfx, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
  6. Jimrod macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
    iMessage is pretty terrible even with an iPhone.

    3G reception where I live (UK, town of 250k people, hardly the sticks!) is pretty poor so I usually have it turned off to save battery life (or indeed when travelling abroad to avoid data roaming often for work). Which means whenever I go out of range of wi-fi messaging becomes an endless cycle of "sending" and not receiving until random points later in the day/week from other iPhone users or Android users alike! iMessage is the new iTunes - ie. shoddy and unreliable.
  7. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    iMessage for Android would solve this problem! :p
    Though seriously I would love either a web based and other OS based solutions to iMessage. I love using it but at work I'm stuck on a Windows PC. Rather than having to pull out my phone when ever my Pebble goes off I'd love to be able to just reply on the computer, which is what I do most of the time at home.... same goes if I were to switch to and Android phone/device.

    Oh well one can keep wishing.
  8. JLL macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2003
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Android users can't send you an iMessage. It seems that you have a problem with regular SMS.
  9. dogulas macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    iphone to (former) iphone only?

    Is this only an issue when iPhone-using friends try to message the former iPhone user? In that the contact in the friend's iPhone is considered only an iMessage recipient? Because otherwise, what the heck Apple, you should have NOTHING to do with the phone number once the person is no longer using your services. This problem stems from Apple being a presumptuous company assuming that no one worthwhile could ever choose to use products other than their own. A massive, arrogant oversight.
  10. Jimrod macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
    I know, but I mean ex-iPhone users who've switched, I always have issues messaging them and them me. I have to turn iMessage off nowadays to get any kind of reliability. I should have clarified that.
  11. blucable macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2012
    I usuallly have to send stuff as a text message because even with full 5 LTE bars, they will either fail to send or just stay on the phone for hours unsent, so annoying...
  12. Kenn Marks macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2005
    Sales persons problem

    Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
  13. Hurda macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2009
    I wonder how many relationships broke because of this.
    "You're never answering my messages! You're with that slut, aren't you?" :D
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G4


    Jun 12, 2012
    I do not really know the extent of the imessage problem, but aren't most issues b.c people forget to turn imessage off? I wouldn't really call that a glitch.
  15. EdgardasB macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2014
    Atleast there would be ability to turn off/deactivate iMessage via Apple ID website. It should solve the issue.
  16. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    The problem is that Apple is not your telephone service provider, so there is no way for them to know, automatically, that you no longer are using that phone with that number. So, "what the heck", how is Apple supposed to even know they "should have NOTHING" to do with the number unless YOU tell them? YOU have to de-register your phone with their service.


    You are absolutely 100% correct! Very rare thing on MacRumors, sir-- a 100% correct, detailed explanation. I therefore give you a ten grin-Apple salute!!

  17. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    A complicated issue indeed, that no other messaging service appears to ever have. SMS, email, Skype, etc... always delivered to the right place. Why is this so freaking difficult?

    Similarly to iMessage, FaceTime also screws things up badly. I have given up on using FaceTime for this reason, you never know where the hell it's going to ring and whether it's even going to ring or not (doesn't tell you if the person you're calling even has an iPhone to receive the call or not). Good luck, you've got 2500 contacts, all of which appear to be available for FaceTime, but only 3 of them actually are. Have fun with that!
  18. Kenn Marks macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2005
    I'm surprised Samsung hasn't stolen that technology as well. Or maybe they just want someone other than themselves suing Apple.
  19. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Why would they when something so small and simple can force you to buy a Mac.
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I don't follow your logic. Are you suggesting the sales person at the local AT&T/Walmart/Target/Best Buy should be able to fix an issue that Apple can't even fix yet? That doesn't make sense to me. The fix you suggested doesn't work all the time: "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." What should the sales person do when it doesn't work?

    To put this on a sales person at some phone store seems to totally ignore the genesis of the issue: Apple. A simple effort by Apple should have eliminated 100% of the issues after it was initially discovered. Does Apple have no culpability in this?
  21. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Soooo glad I went back to my iPhone 5 from the Galaxy S5 I tried out at AT&T, phone was nice but had trouble texting friends and personally just like the iOS better.

    I still have tons of trouble texting friends who switched from iOS to Android
  22. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    So let me get this straight!

    You're going to give the middle finger to the most valuable company in the world so you can sleep with the enemy, and Apple is suppose to help you with this process and let you make a seamless transition?

    This is not a bug or an issue IMO. I honestly don't think they will even fix it, nor should they.
  23. itpromike macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    The problem I think you're missing is that turning iMessage off in settings, only fixed the problem 50% of the time... the rest of the time it DID NOT fix the problem and using Apples KB articles to help fix the issue (i.e.. de-registering your iPhone from your Apple account/Apple ID) also did not fix the problem but only 50% of the time. This is why on their end they needed a bug fix server side and why there is still another software update coming client side... If the issue was simply to turn iMessage off before you left a device then a server side fix would not be required and it wouldn't be a 'bug' it was be an education and RTFM issue, however it is not.

    Like I said before, in the IT shop I run we have some 15K iPhones that we manage and I can tell you from repeated and I mean REPEATED experience that simply turning off iMessage on the old device DOES NOT fix this problem. It does maybe about 50% of the time… the other 50% of the time when iMessage is turned off on the old the device and someone tries to send you a txt, it still defaults to iMessage. Additionally even if the person sending the message deletes the old conversation and with it all links to the previous iMessage, it still defaults to iMessage when they try to txt you again. This is a technical issue, not an issue of comprehension. Maybe if this was an experience of 1 time, it could be anecdotal and possibly an issue of not knowing the proper procedure however we’ve combed many KB articles from Apple and have spent much time on the phone with Apple support (as you can image when managing thousands of phones) and I can tell you this is a real technical issue that they need to fix.
  24. stewy macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Kingston, ON
    Fanboyism at its finest... Surely Apple isn't capable of making a mistake!
  25. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    This is a totally realistic expectation in a world dominated by online shopping.

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