iMessage give iOS users the possibility of exchanging messages using Wi-Fi and Apple’s servers. The text messages sent and received through iMessage do not have any cost, which is why many people use the service to communicate. iMessage is also very convenient as you can follow up on a conversation from any of your Apple devices. However, things turn sour if you decide to change your iPhone for an Android device for example. In that case, you may face the problem of having messages intended for you, getting stuck in Apple’s servers.
On Tuesday, Apple confirmed that due to an issue with their iMessage service, messages sent to users that have switched their iOS device for a device supported by a different platform, would remain undelivered. The problem would arise if users do not disable iMessage prior to moving to a new system. Apple’s servers would not be able to acknowledge that the phone number is no longer associated to an IPhone and would continue to attempt unsuccessfully to deliver the message. As a result, any text send to you via iMessage would remain in Apple’s servers without ever reaching you.
This error has been on going since the release of iMessage with iOS 5 in 2011. The only option available for users to get this solved, was to contact Apple’s technical support to request them to manually edit their Apple ID. However, this did not helped to recover the messages that were stuck in the servers and for many users, the issue was not completely resolved. When iOS 7 was released last year, Apple addressed the flaw by stopping messages destined to those who were no longer using an iOS device from being sent in the first place. Still, the problem of undelivered messages was not fixed.
This week, Apple had to officially address the situation, which is known as “iMessage Purgatory”, after the error with the company’s servers become so serious that not even their technical support team is able to effectively assist users to get it fixed. Apple admitted that the issue was caused due to a bug in iMessage and stated that their team was working to fix the situation in the next software update. The company advised users that were still experiencing difficulties to contact AppleCare.
However, for many users, the company is doing too little too late and Apple is facing legal action from those that feel that the company hindered their mobile service, even when they changed their Apple devices for phones and tablets using another platform. Users that are taking action claim that Apple “penalized them and interfered with their right to enjoy the full benefits of their wireless service contracts”. At the moment, only one lawsuit has been reported but the compensation sought ascends to $5 million and it is expected that the number of complaints would rises and that more people decide to file lawsuits against the company.