Apple being sued because someone forgot to turn off iMessage when they switched to Android

A scorned ex-iPhone user is suing Apple over lost text messages that she is not able to receive after switching from an iOS device to a smartphone on another platform. Apple's iMessage service doesn't de-activate the iMessage service when a user switches to a non-Apple phone. In this case, messages do not get delivered and the service thinks that the message should be routed as an iMessage rather than a traditional SMS or MMS, meaning that switchers away from Apple would not receive messages from their iOS counterparts.

The suit, filed in a San Jose court and seeking class action status, comes after Apple began acknowledging this glitch earlier this month.

For switchers, as we had noted in the past, one way to workaround this glitch is to de-activate the iMessage service manually in the iPhone's settings before removing your SIM card and placing it in a non-Apple device. This should remove the associated telephone number from the iMessage server and force messages sent from a friend's iPhone to be routed as a traditional SMS or MMS message. Without performing this step, Apple's servers continue to assume that the SIM card is still associated with an iPhone and will continue to deliver messages sent from iOS users as iMessages rather than as a text message. In this case, messages will get "lost" in the cloud and the switching party will not receive said messages.

Another solution that is being proposed as a temporary fix by AppleCare staff is to have iPhone users delete the contact of their switching friends and then re-adding them manually.

Via: Business Insider

Chuong H Nguyen
  • I turned off my iMessage before switching over and I still have that problem. It sucks.
  • Someone mentioned to completely get rid of the horrid iMessage service forever:
    (courtesy of TechCrunch) 1. Go to:
    2. Log in if not already logged in.
    3. Click on “edit products”
    4. Click on the “x” to the right of the product.
    5. Click “unregister” Just UNREGISTER your devices that had iMessage on them from your Apple/iTunes Account and it'll kill iMessage redirects. [You can always re-register your devices again if you need to.]
  • Thanks.
  • I have done that too, to no avail..
  • Thanks that's the best tip I've ever got from iMore! (and it had to come from the forms ) But iMore will tell you how to edit phone numbers Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks that's the best tip I've ever got from iMore! (and it had to come from the forms ) But iMore will tell you how to edit phone numbers Sent from the iMore App
  • Or how to delete photos and videos Sent from the iMore App
  • This still doesn't always work. -Beamed from my Moto X via the iMore App.
  • The Apple support site states this support profile fix does not work. I contacted Apple and they advised to turn off iMessage before switching to a non apple device. After 24 hours your number should be de-registered. It worked fine, but the Apple guy said to contact them if it did not work. Apple provide support for these issues people choose not to use them! Sent from the iMore App
  • Simple google search and here is a link to the KB article I mentioned - Sent from the iMore App
  • The title of this article is misconstrued. The owner of the iPhone couldn't have forgotten to turn off imessaging if he or she didn't even know that that was a necessary step to receive text messages from iOS users after they switch to a different phone. You can't forget something you didn't even know about in the first place. That being said, it is a shame that one would even have to do that. The title of this article immediately blames the user when the blame should really be on apple... ... And this is coming from an apple fan. Sent from the iMore App
  • I couldn't agree more, this has been an ongoing problem that I personally don't believe Apple cares too much about, I mean this could be why some people bash android, my two friends were saying the nexus 5 sucked because it wouldn't send out or receive messages, they also came from an iPhone seems pretty suspect to me
  • I spend a lot of time on Mobile Nations. So when I changed devices a few weeks ago I did so quite conscientiously. I turn off iMessage, removed sim, resetted my phone as my wife uses it now. I went to the profile support and deleted the phone from there, and subsequently added it to my wife´s. I still cannot get messages from people who previously communicated with me via iMessage. It is a mess. I totally agree with you, most people wouldn´t think to do any of what I did. But even those who do, still find themselves in a game with varying endings. This has been going on for a long time, and I think Apple should look into this seriously.
  • I turned off iMessage. When I did use it I had the option of reverting to SMS after 3 tries on. It is an annoying bug, I agree, but I can't see a lawsuit over it. Did the person even call Apple I wonder, or did they just hope to get a lawsuit?
  • I suppose the person can claim they missed some important SMS (life / financially threatening) or something of the sort. I think suing is a bit much.
  • I took all the right steps, like mentioned above, and my messages with iphone users are still sporadic. I have a few friends who can't send me texts at all, and my girlfriend's texts sometimes goes through, sometimes doesn't. It's an absolutely crippling bug to a vital aspect of cell phones. What's most annoying though, is that Apple could could solve the problem while also absolutely dominating the text-messaging market if they were to release imessage across all platforms, but they'd seem to prefer to let this problem simmer, cuz it gives android phones a bad rep. Suing them is exactly what they deserve!!!
  • "For switchers, as we had noted in the past, one way to workaround this glitch is to de-activate the iMessage service manually in the iPhone's settings before removing your SIM card and placing it in a non-Apple device. This should remove the associated telephone number from the iMessage server and force messages sent from a friend's iPhone to be routed as a traditional SMS or MMS message" Only this never works.. I switch back and forth from iOS devices to Android to have tried it several times and I was never able to not lose messages in the transition. The last (and final time), messages weren't getting through, then were for a few days and then stopped again.. Trust me if it were as easy as just disabling iMessage a lot less would be complaining.
  • Sometimes messages to other iPhone users go as a normal sms message instead of iMessage.
    Considering that, why would messages to people who have switched from iOS to Droid not do the same?
  • they have some bologna reasoning that "up to 45 days" may pass until you start receiving messages after turning off iMessage. Really, they just added a few forks in the road for users, to make them think it's their new phone and that the iPhone was always perfect. But, the truth is out, and now it will really be out...
  • I didn't have that problem when i switch over to an android temporarily. I did do the imessage off and signed out apple id too.
  • I never 'activated' the iMessage service, how can I be expected to remember to deactivate it?
  • About time. iMessage is very poorly implemented, and confusing to most.
  • If someone is confused by iMessage, the LAST thing they should do is be switching to the fragment phone. Seriously. Having said that, I have to agree that this issue should have been resolved a long time ago by Apple. You can't fix stupid, and by that I mean people going away from the iPhone, but you shouldn't make it tough for people to use their oversized plastic clone phones... thats just mean!
  • Wow, I think you just defined the term "fanboy". Are you seriously trying to pull out the fragmentation argument? Do you not realize Android was designed to run on multiple screen sizes and DPIs from the very beginning, whereas iOS was not and now they are having a difficult time adapting and scaling it for new products? If anything is fragmented. it's iOS. Oversized plastic clone phones? I assume when Apple copies Samsung and comes out with a bigger phone, you will be boycotting Apple. And when Apple makes a lame attempt at copying Android's notification drawer, you will be boycotting Apple too. Oh wait, they already did. And when Apple attempts to cut the iTunes activation tether, in favor of Cloud activation, something Android has had since day one, you will be boycotting Apple too. Oh wait, they already halfway did, kinda. Let's stop the fanboy nonsense, and let competition make all our phones better.
  • Nice Sent from the iMore App
  • Lol at you.
  • What does messaging have anything to do with an OS? In this case android? Please take off your blinder fanboy shades and see that this should not happen in the first place. Doesn't happen with any other OS. Your comment reeks of ignorance and fanboyism. You make regular apple users look bad. Sent from the iMore App
  • "Another solution that is being proposed as a temporary fix by AppleCare staff is to have iPhone users delete the contact of their switching friends and then re-adding them manually." Really!?!?!? AppleCare Staff, iMessage hijacks SMS. You deserved to be sued.
  • This should be class action for anyone who switched. Same thing happened to me when I switched to Blackberry, and I paid for services I wasn't receiving like texts. This was never stated anywhere visibly obvious when owning an iPhone, nor told by ANY staff at Apple. Until you search Google, you have no idea an issue even exists. Apple should be held fully responsible.
  • Yeah, I agree. I've never been told I need to turn stuff off if I choose to leave Apple hardware behind. I would never even have thought about it. Just another way Apple childishly nut punches us if we decide to break up with them.
  • this is the most annoying thing to deal with being a mobile sales consultant. customers come back pissed that they miss text even when we follow the steps apple has laid out
  • No, nobody should "remember to turn off iMessage" in order to receive SMS on different platforms that have *absolutely* nothing to do with Apple.
  • It does have someting to do with Apple when it's Apple servers causing the issue.
  • That's precisely my point that I was trying to make. When the user switched to Android or Windows Phone completely (what I meant by "nothing to do with Apple"), they should not be remembering to turn off iMessage on the previous iPhones, iPads, Macs to make sure their cell phone number can still get SMS messages from the other side. What can they do if they already wiped out their devices and sold it? Also, plenty of folks have done different solutions provided by AppleCare and it didn't work either. It should be as simple as clicking "Turn off iMessage, switch everything to SMS" on Apple's site or something like that, so that folks don't need to do anything with something they no longer have. In addition, if Apple couldn't fix this properly, Apple should've warn people in advance that when they enable iMessage, they have to turn off iMessage on the devices if they're no longer using it. Heck, when resetting the devices, Apple should've automate the de-registration of the number for iMessage on that device.
  • Yet people turn it off and still have this problem. But of course apple gets a pass on imore... The writer seems clueless as to the ways they mention don't work. People wouldn't be complaining if it was that simple to fix. Maybe do some research about the issues users have and the various methods they try, and that fail. This never was an issue before, but from IOS 6 on it seems apple added something to completely hijack SMS for those who switch.
  • Maybe Android Central will give you a more balanced version of the truth. (I almost said that without laughing..)
  • I laughed for you. Sent from the iMore App
  • I laughed at you.
  • I switch from a 5S to a Nexus 5 (and back) several times a week. I have no issues as long as I "turn off" iMessage beforehand. I know I'm following directions, and I know it works for me. Anything else is pure speculation. Apple bias I guess /s
  • Agreed, I currently use the iPhone 5s and Galaxy s5. I switch all the time also (sim adapter was the best purchase ever) and never have an issue as long as I turn off iMessage before. People will sue over anything nowadays when a simple Google search would eleviate most of the issues.
  • As multiple people have said here...turning it off sometimes does not work. In my case it did not work as I turned iMessage off before switching and I still couldn't get texts from iPhone users. I think the lawsuit is necessary so Apple can actually fix the issue or better implement the fix.
  • I have an iphone 5. If I turn my imessage off, but the iphone messaging me has imessage on, I either get the massage after some time or not at all. It's quite frustrating. I don't think the imessage issue is isolated to droids.
  • Agree. My friend has a 5c and be accidentally turned off iMessage and until he realized it, wasn't getting messages at all or if he got any at all it was much much later. Not sure how apple implemented it that it does this, but it is a big issue. Sent from the iMore App
  • I finally solve the problem putting the simcard in an iphone once inessage activated turn it off and putting simcard in android again.... Finally i am receiving messages
  • super cool information
  • In Messages on my Macs, I have selected my iCloud email address, AND my iPhone number to "be reached at:", and to "Start new conversations from:" as well. So when I send/ receive messages on my Mac, it's indistinguishable from "texts" from my phone. I'm guessing you need to sign out of those options as well as turning it off on the iPhone. I also am logged in on my iPad, so that would have to be turned off as well. No way I'm going to switch phones here, but signing out of Messages on all devices is something I'd do before pulling the SIM out of the iPhone if I planned to no longer use iMessages. I'd suggest totally logging out of iCloud on all devices before pulling the SIM.
  • IMHO none of the "fixes" Apple suggest are actually fixes, they are all bandaids. Even turning off iMessage before switching doesn't always work. The fact that Apple suggests that users tell everyone they communicate with to delete their thread and start a new one is an embarrassment. Apple needs to come up with an actual fix. Google Hangouts doesn't keep intercepting my SMS when I switch back to iPhone. The only "fix" is to simply not use iMessage, ever. I generally recommend people to not ever use iMessage because it's just a headache more than it helps.
  • Finally, someone did it
  • A person shouldn't have to turn off iMessage. I've never had issues of messages getting hijacked with prior phones so I wouldn't expect people to know this.
  • I switched over to a Note 3 in March and I'm still getting this problem with a few people. I've completed all the steps that I've read everywhere to disable it, it's pretty annoying. For some reason it'll still send as an imessage through their phone but won't say delivered. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Can I suggest editing this headline? Because it is pretty insulting to blame a user of a phone for something that they shouldn't have to do just to change to a different phone. This hasn't happened to me, but I'd be pretty insulted to have somebody suggest that I had even a small part of the blame for this.
  • Sorry but I cannot agree with your point of view! They switched on iMessage!, it is not switched on by default, and they should carry out due diligence to switch that functionality off when they switch devices! Are Apple supposed to know that the person has decided to no longer use an Apple Device? It is really not fair for anyone to blame an entity other than themselves for not taking the time to switch off iMessage Functionality! That is simply due diligence and maybe if people really to the time to cross their T's and dot their I's in everything they do they wouldn't end up in situations like this but again, this is the same people that blame everyone else for their mistakes.
  • And those who have had their phones stolen? I do agree with you. Anyone who chooses to use any apple product is at fault.
  • Awww Come on! Why is it that people have to point the finger at everyone else because they didn't do due diligence when they switched from Apple iOS to a device running the Android OS. Apple, Google and none of the Hardware manufacturers are to blame, it is the person themselves for not making sure that they switch off such functionality. People like this that expect the world to operate around them deserve things to go wrong. They are to blame and nobody else!
  • Sorry but I did due diligence and deactivated the iMessage services before switching from my 5s to an android phone and guess what...still not getting messages from iPhone users. 5 minutes before reading this I actually called apple to have it fixed. Also its hard to expect someone to know to do this especially when it isn't the standard for all phones.
  • Maybe iPhone users just don't want to text you... :p Sent from the iMore App
  • Just kidding by the way Sent from the iMore App
  • Loool. I guess if thats the case I can join this class action law suit and win. After that everyone would want to text me.
  • So even the people who follow the steps( that apple provides) yet still aren't getting messages didn't do their "due diligence?" Come on now take off the fanboy shades and see this is an issue, which apple should have resolved a long time ago. Sent from the iMore App
  • Seems like Apple doesn't want people switching. :P
  • This is a ridiculous issue and I find your article title to be misleading and poorly researched. There have been many reports that simply turning off iMessage does *not* allow messages to properly go through as SMS messages and your article makes it sound like it's the user's fault. Apple has screwed up their iMessage system pretty seriously with this and I'm in favour of any route people are taking to force them to get some people on fixing it. I've personally experienced this issue where turning off iMessage doesn't cause other iPhones to start using SMS and they just keep using iMessage -it's a pain and Apple should get their act together and fix it.
  • Wrong - for some people this does not work. There are people that have turned off iMessage AND deregistered their phone and STILL had issues. I helped out a guy over at AndroidCentral with this issue and know a few others that have had this problem. Apple needs to get this issue sorted out - some of this is on them and not on people that switch. This isn't a problem on Android, BB10, or WP7/8.
  • Hopefully this suit makes some traction as I feel this big is by design. Customers are always second to profits
  • Turning off iMessage doesn't really fix anything. To make matters worse, iphone users probably have "Send as SMS" disabled, which won't try to send iMessages as SMS in the event they fail. Currently using 5s with a moto x I really can't use unless I'm okay with not receiving iMessages from friends and family.
  • This article is so obviously slanted in Apple's favor. I switched from iPhone to Android, I turned off iMessage before I switched. I called Apple and had them do everything they could to fix the problem, and they didn't know what to do. This is not a small issue, this is a HUGE problem.
  • Same here and I read that it will auto delete from their servers in...45 days! Ridiculous on apples part. They deserve to be sued for this.
  • I switch all the time. The solution is to have an email address associated with your apple ID. Not just your phone number, but your email address. I never disable anything. Works perfectly. Sent from the iMore App
  • The tone of this article and headline is beneath imore - or should be. Somebody impacted by what Apple acknowledges as their glitch is a "scorned" user, seriously? Sent from the iMore App
  • People need to remember to turn off FaceTime too!
  • Is she going to sue for a million, 10 million $600 million, a billion. What is this world coming to? She should just be proud of finding something Apple could not find. Plain and simple....a money hungry ass. Sent from the iMore App
  • Had the same problem when my wife switched from 4s to note 3. Drove me crazy every time it would try to deliver as iMessage, fail, and then send as a regular text. The way to get it to go away is to delete all messages you have from that person (INCLUDING GROUP MESSAGES). This works 100% but the problem is that if anyone in those group messages that you deleted sends a text it's game over. It behaves the same way again. Def a big problem that needs to be fixed. Having the money apple does it shouldn't be very hard, but I digress. BTW Didn't find this info on any sites just trial and error.
  • Poor, poor lady!
  • I have been a long fan of your site, but this article and notably the title show a complete disregard for reporting facts. As others have noted, this problem occurs despite following all appropriate steps. I deactivated iMessage on all my devices, and assumed that everything was back to normal. I was then informed on at least ten occasions of friends unable to reach me. When I contacted Apple support, it was confirmed that my phone number was no longer associated with iMessage, and the problem was confirmed. I was told to ask my friends to delete the message history and try to send a message again, and if it didn't work, my friends would have to turn iMessage off and back on on their device. The problem is that this puts the responsibility on other people to do something so we can communicate, and doesn't help when I don't know that a contact is trying to reach me. Instead of insulting users that are facing this problem, your site should be reporting how horrible it is that Apple is hijacking SMS messages against user wishes. I truly hope for better reporting in the future!
  • Did they do the thing where they send you a text and you read a code? Also, having them turn on "Send as SMS" also helps. But I agree, this is ridiculous and Apple should be sued. Steve Jobs wanted iMessage and Facetime to be crossplatform like BBM, but Tim Cook seems to have stopped it.
  • If Tim Cook followed Steve Jobs' wishes and made iMessage cross platform, this wouldn't be an issue... I hope Apple gets their ***es sued off for this. It's beyond ridiculous how you can't change things manually.
  • Frivolous? Sent from the iMore App
  • My only comment shall be..
    Yet another sue happy person, anything to try for a buck these days. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've switched a few times in the last few years. Always known about the iMessage thing because I read a lot. Luckily it was never an issue for me. But having said that, a very high percentage of people would not know to turn off iMessage. I believe this whole thing is shady as f**ck on Apple. Been trying to talk myself into pulling the trigger and switching for good, but the iPhone 6 is 3 1/2 months away and all. If I do though, I'm worried it will become an issue this time. Customers should not have to worry about this. Everybody should boycott iMessage altogether regardless. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is not the users fault as the title suggests. This is an apple issue. Sent from the iMore App
  • Is this an artice? Thought it was a troll post on the forum that had been incorrectly formatted.
  • I wouldn't sue apple over it :|
  • HELLO! - these guys work on helping people retrieving their lost/stolen iphones by
    tracking these devices through IMEI.