The well-known problem of iPhone owners switching to another device and then not receiving text messages on their new phone was apparently aggravated recently by a server glitch, says Apple in a statement to Re/Code.
Apple iMessage service routes iPhone to iPhone text messages through Apple’s iMessage servers instead of the users’ carrier text service. The system requires devices on both ends to be an iPhone. If they’re not, an undelivered message is the result.
The issue arises when an iPhone owner moves to another platform, such as an Android device, and retains the phone number from the iPhone. The iMessage service continues to believe the phone number is attached to an iPhone, and wants to continue handling text messaging for that phone number, routing it as an iMessage instead of a normal text message.
To avoid the issue, Apple advises iPhone owners to turn off iMessage on their iPhone, and uncheck the number in other iMessage-compatible devices attached to their iCloud account before switching devices. However, this doesn’t always remove the phone number from Apple’s iMessage servers, leading to calls to Apple Support to get the number manually removed. Unfortunately, a recent sever glitch disabled the manual method, leaving support reps helpless to assist in fixing the issue 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.”
While Apple hasn’t provided a timeframe for the software update, reports today tell of an iOS 7.1.2 update that appears imminent. Until then, it is suggested that users contact AppleCare for further information.