UPDATE: A Consumerist reader and former AT&T tech rep has a possible fix for some iPhone-to-Android switchers having this problem. Which, by the emails we’ve gotten since posting the original story below, is happening to a lot of our readers.
P. writes: “Put your SIM in an iPhone with iMessaging and toggle the iMessaging on then off. This will disengage the number in Apple’s iMessage. Might need to go to an AT&T location [editor's note: or whichever carrier] to have a micro or nano SIM activated, then yet another SIM to go back in his Android but this process does work.”
Or if you still have that old iPhone of yours or any others lying around, he adds that
“an inactive iPhone that is connected to WiFi will work as well for this, as cell signal is not required for iMessaging, obviously.’
This makes sense, in theory at least, so let’s hope it can help some of you out.
——————-ORIGINAL STORY BELOW————————-
If you’ve ever been yelled at by a group of iPhone-owning friends sending you group texts that you don’t receive until after everyone else, if at all, well you might be like many former iPhone owners who’ve switched to Android.* According to a new report, those delayed or undelivered messages afflict many a switcher.
In a Lifehacker post by blogger Adam Pash writes that he’s recently moved from an iPhone to an Android phone, but it seems all his friends’ iPhones are having a hard time sending him messages now that he’s no longer on iMessage.
See, when he was on iMessage with everyone else, things were all good. But his friends’ phones apparently can’t handle the fact that he’s left, and still try to connect to him with the Apple-only app.
Basically, he’ll get nothing from an iPhone texter, while they still see a “Delivered” receipt in their messages app like normal.
He thought maybe he could fix it on his own before calling Apple’s customer support plan, and eventually removed his phone number from his Apple ID. But that was a no-go, so he called Apple and explained the issue.
After 10 minutes walking through various steps I’d already taken and others that were completely impractical (Apple Support: “Can you try deleting the contact from your new iPhone and re-adding it?” Me: “I can’t tell everyone I know to delete and re-add me as a contact.”), my tech support person told me that I was breaking up, and that she needed to call me back.
When she called back, he said she explained that this is a common problem faced by a lot of people, and that while the engineering team is working on it, it seems like they’re clueless as to how to fix it.
She added that there don’t appear to be any reliable solutions — some fixes work for some, and not for others.
So for now, his phone number is stuck to his old device, and no one but Apple can fix it. That being said, he writes that there doesn’t seem to be any public support for this issue, considering that previous iPhone owners aren’t technically current customers, at least phone-wise.
“Most of my friends have iPhones,” he writes. “My phone number hasn’t changed. But my number is now a black hole for text messages.”
Has this happened to you after switching phones, but keeping your same number? Let us know, email email@example.com with the subject line iPhone Switch.
*Or maybe all your friends just yell at you for not having an iPhone in general and you’re like, just calm down. Seriously.
When Apple Damns Your Texts to iMessage Purgatory [Lifehacker]