I recently switched from an iPhone to Android, and discovered shortly thereafter that my phone number was still associated with iMessage, meaning that any time someone with an iPhone tried texting me, I’d receive nothing, and they’d get a “Delivered” receipt in their Messages app as though everything were working as expected.
In the meantime, Apple has completely hijacked my text messaging and my phone number portability (portability between devices, not networks). No one can fix this but Apple because it’s a problem at the device level, which means people in my position have no recourse but to wait for Apple to figure out what the problem is. But Apple isn’t offering any public support on the issue that I’ve been able to find (and it’s worth repeating that proper support is behind a $20 paywall for most people who’ve switched devices, who would also be the most commonly affected by this problem).
This isn’t a new problem, and Apple’s got several support pages and forum threads addressing it. Here’s one updated April 29 of this year called “Deactivating iMessage.” Of course, it says if you no longer have the device, you’ll be sent into an Apple Support labyrinth like the one Pash encountered.
I understand that Apple thinks this is a minor problem and that most iPhone customers end up being repeat customers, but it is a statistical certainty that there will be iPhone customers who want to keep their phone number and also want to switch to another platform, whether it’s Android, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, or something that hasn’t even been invented yet. The problem is only going to become more widespread.
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