Apple acknowledges iMessage issue that hijacks your number when switching to Android

imessage iphone

The Messages iOS app ties your phone number to your Apple ID, and ensures that people sending texts to your number arrive over iMessage, a free service, rather than SMSes through carriers, which is paid. This is great for all iPhone users, unless you happen to switch to an Android or Windows Phone.

Even after switching to a different platform, the Messages app on your friends’ iPhone continues to think that you still have an iPhone, and texts they send are delivered over iMessage, which means that you won’t see these texts on your Android phone. Moreover, the messages show up with a “Delivered” status on the sender’s iPhone, so they won’t even come to know that these messages aren’t going through.

Adam Pash, formerly of Lifehacker, had the same problem. He spoke to Apple tech support about this issue, and found that a lot of users are facing the same problem, but Apple doesn’t have a clear solution:

[Apple tech support] called me back, then explained

  1. This is a problem a lot of people are facing.
  2. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
  3. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat.

One of the solutions to this problem is removing your iPhone from My Support Profile (instructions), but this hasn’t helped Pash solve the issue. Other solutions include resetting the Apple ID password, logging out of FaceTime and iMessage from all iOS devices, but these haven’t helped Pash either.

Apple is probably not doing this intentionally, but for a user, this acts like a lock-in, and makes it very difficult to switch from an iPhone, given that there’s no easy way to fix this issue or let people know that you’re no longer on iMessage.

Have you faced this problem, and if so, how did you fix it? Let us know in the comments.

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Categories: iMessage

  • Erick121

    I have a friend that recently changed to android (bad choice imo) but yea I’ve noticed every time I text them it shows iMessage and I just hold on the text and click send as text message..I know when u turn iMessage off before switching phone fixes this almost always

  • ThatWasEasy

    Easy.. release iMessage to android.. solved..

    • Erick121

      Easier said then done apple have to give android access to there servers etc… maybe some day though

  • JTMonkey

    iCloud.com and remove the device from the profile. Login to the carriers site and make sure the device in your profile is not the iPhone any longer.

  • whovianfromgallifrey

    Turn off I message on your iPhone if you are not using your iPhone. If you are using I message because you can’t get service just turn it off when you’re done using it

    • androidhater

      it is free over wifi

  • AR19

    Just log into you icloud through itunes and delete the phone number.

  • Tayo Adewale

    I didn’t attach my number to iMessage, only my icloud account was used to activate iMessage. The reason for that is my carrier always charge me to activate iMessage with my number whenever I turn off my iPhone or I update it. To save myself from that headache my number isn’t linked with iMessage in the first place

  • Sam

    iMessages aren’t free, it uses your data, a moron at work racked up a few hundred dollars sending iMessages when he was vacation in Europe, he still doesn’t understand what happened, and he isn’t the first or last idiot that got dinged.

    • dbDESIGN

      Well, you’re wrong. Your friend should have called his wireless provided before going to Europe, that was his first careless mistake. iMessage uses a WiFi network to send messages, no data, so your friend probably messed up somewhere along the line in that situation.

      • Moinul Alam

        iMessage uses what ever it can get. Wifi, Edge, 3G , 4G… if iMessage only worked on wifi do you realize how useless it would be?

        • dbDESIGN

          One iMessage would use less or up to1kb of data if not using wifi, you would have to send a massive amount of iMessages to put even a small dent in any data plan.

          • Sam

            iMessage sending pics, its an iPhone user they aren’t the smartest of people out there, btw checkout what the roaming rates are for data in Europe, not my friend either it’s a moron at work.

  • Ha Jo

    Apple could fix the issue very easily if they wanted to: If the iPhone didn’t “ping” the iMessage server for, say, 24 hrs, then release the number and deliver messages to it via the carrier instead. This is btw not only a problem when you switch to another phone but also e.g. when you travel to a foreign country and don’t have data roaming (due to cost, …). You won’t receive messages from people using iPhones! Happens to me regularity and really pisses me off. Apple still thinks that everyone has to use their products the way they designed it.

    • Sam

      it’s not in Apple

  • Gareth Morgan

    i had this very problem .. just tell the person whos sending you the message to send it as imessage then tap and hold the message and send it as an SMS, I have found eventually it reverts back to SMS hope this helps some people

  • ThePooosaySlayer

    I had to switch back to iPhone because the issue with mine couldn’t be resolved :(

  • dbDESIGN

    I just had this problem. My iPhone5 broke, out of contract and I wanted to save my AT&T upgrade for the new phone, so I purchased an LG Optimus Android through ebay. I had the phone for a week when I finally gave up after numerous attempts at trying to free my number from the apple iMessage servers. I did everything to name a few: turned iMessage off on all devices, sent STOP text to some number, called Apple and asked them to unregister my number, even went on Apple site and unregistered my device. Did it all, until I finally said to hell with it – and a week later I purchased a used iPhone5. I felt like a traitor using Android anyway. But there is absolutely no way around this issue.

  • Marie

    A girl at work had this problem and asked me if I knew how to fix it. A friend of hers went from Apple to Android and my co-workers texts weren’t going through………I opened a new message entered the persons name and it worked fine. The name in her contacts is still Blue as if its an imessage but it sends as a text