Back in December, we reported about a bug in iOS 5, which caused stolen iPhones to receive iMessages that were meant for the original owner, despite taking measures like remote wiping or changing Apple ID passwords.
That issue got more visibility earlier in the week when Gizmodo reported that an iPhone user who had taken his iPhone to Apple Genius bar to fix an issue, started receiving every incoming and outgoing iMessage meant for an Apple employee who had helped in fixing his problem.
The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple reports that Apple spokesperson has clarified that the issue is not a bug, but occurred due to the incorrect service procedure followed by their employee.
“This was an extremely rare situation that occurred when a retail employee did not follow the correct service procedure and used their personal SIM to help a customer who did not have a working SIM,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison told The Loop. “This resulted in a temporary situation that has since been resolved by the employee.”
It looks like the Apple employee had used his personal SIM card to debug the issue, which ended up registering the number with that device with Apple’s iMessage servers. According to Apple, their employee should have not used his personal SIM card or simply toggled the iMessage on and off to avoid the issue.
Even though the problem might have occurred due to an employee following an incorrect procedure, it doesn’t make sense that merely using another SIM card should cause such a problem. The solution Apple has provided is also not applicable in case your iPhone is stolen. So let’s hope that Apple fixes it in the next iOS firmware update.