A major issue with Apple’s iMessage service is that many users have issues with their own phone number correctly transferring to a non-iPhone smartphone when they switch devices, leading to problems with text messages getting to the recipient. However, Apple has finally released a tool that allows users to deregister their phone number with iMessage.
When you switch to Android or other non-iPhone platform from an iPhone, your phone number is still registered with iMessage, so any iPhone user who texts you will get a “Delivered” message, but you will never end up actually receiving the text message, because your phone number isn’t completely transferred over to their Android device.
This is obviously a huge problem, and Apple has known about the issue for awhile, but never had a solid fix until now.
The company launched a web tool that allows you to deregister your phone number with iMessage, that way you can begin using it again on Android, Windows Phone, or other non-iPhone platform.
The web tool consists of two methods for deregistering your phone number with iMessage. First, if you still have your old iPhone, the tool tells you to temporarily transfer your SIM card to the iPhone and then turn off iMessage.
However, if you no longer have your old iPhone, the web tool allows you to enter in your phone number and Apple will deregister it for you.
This problem was within iMessage and how your phone number is registered with iMessage when you get an iPhone. When you turn iMessage on for the first time, iMessage registers your cellular telephone number with Apple, so if you ever switch to a non-Apple smartphone, you have to deregister your phone number before you can use it elsewhere.
This new tool releases after many users have suffered through this problem for years. There have been numerous threads on Apple’s support forums talking about this issue, and it turns out Apple had its own support page for this issue, but even some of those fixes didn’t work.
Furthermore, many users have been going into Apple Stores to the Genius Bar to fix the issue, but it turns out that Apple employees were giving users some pretty awful advice when it came to fixing this issue.
One former iPhone users says that Apple suggested having every one of his contacts delete him from their contact list and re-add him. However, even when he tried this solution out with a few friends, it still didn’t fix it.
Another user reported that the same advice was given to him, although if that didn’t work, Apple recommended he just return his Samsung device and go back to using an iPhone.
Apple even went as far as blaming the carrier at one point, when a user said that the problem was apparently Verizon’s fault, but after a Verizon representative texted the user from his personal iPhone, he told Apple that the user’s phone number was being identified as an iPhone. Therefore, the blame would fall back into Apple’s hands.
The company’s solution at that point? Try the above solutions or get a new phone number.
In the end, it turns out that Apple employees didn’t really know how to fix the problem that’s been around for years, and that itself was a problem. Of course, this whole thing could have just been Apple’s way of getting users to not switch away from iPhone, but there’s really no freedom in that, and it’s going as far as taking customers’ phone numbers hostage, essentially.
However, this new tool finally allows users to easily deregister their phone number with iMessage and associate it with another device without any problems, which is something that older iPhone users have been looking forward to for months.