back to article iPhone-stroker-turned-fandroid sues Apple over iMessage text-slurpery

A former iPhone fan is suing Apple over claims that its iMessage service withholds texts sent to her new Samsung mobile by her iPhone-fondling pals. Adrienne Moore has taken the fruity firm to court in the US for a (potentially class action) suit over the messaging service, which she says fails to deliver texts to former …


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  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Oh FFS

    Yes its a pain but Apple post a clear help topic on how to avoid this and there are dozens of third party guides as the complainant notes. Basically you just de-register your mobe number with iMessage before fleeing the platform. Admittedly they could make it a lot easier to do so - an unsubscribe message or similar springs to mind but its merely an inconvienience - I fail to see how you can attach any financial significance to it in anywhere but America.

    It annoyed me when I moved but how that translates in a lawsuit is beyond me.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS

      Are those instructions buried somewhere in one of the 247 volumes of the Apple T&C's ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh FFS

        Don't exaggerate. Last I checked the iTunes Ts&Cs are only around 30,000 words long. Consider it a litany one must learn and then be able to recant flawlessly before the altar.

      2. Don Jefe

        Re: Oh FFS

        It doesn't matter a fucking pin if it's in the Apple T&C's or not. The way to deal with this is a user issue and is therefore found in the user documentation/help.

        You're conflating issues.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh FFS

          > It doesn't matter a fucking pin if

          Why has the referenced comment been received so poorly? It sounds entirely correct to me: if you provide a service, its features (including the "off" switch) should be obvious and/or thoroughly documented. At least that's how I understand the previous post.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Oh FFS

            Great hatred for Apple exists here. Obviously, that hatred renders some commenters partially illiterate. This whole discussion is about a technical issue. Technical issues are in no way related to T&C's, which are legal matters.

            Which was my point, you don't put instructions on how to deregister your device in the legal section of your product documentation. Those instructions go in the user documentation, which is exactly where Apple put them. Funny Apple would put them exactly where they were supposed to.

            I honestly think anti-Apple zealots are every bit as bad as pro-Apple zealots. They're all a bunch of dumbasses if you ask me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Don Jefe - She has de-registered -

              The article is about a legal issue. It is even published in the Law section of El Reg.

              The plaintiff did follow the instructions and de-registered the device. Despite following the instructions provided by Apple she is not receiving all the texts sent to her. Apple says that in order to receive those texts, the senders (not her) need to upgrade iOS on their devices or have them delete her contact and then re-enter it.

              This is a legal issue because she has a legal contract with Verizon and, by not delivering SMS text messages sent to her, Apple is tortuously interfering with that contract and reducing its value. If Apple fixes it's service so that everybody who follows the instructions, and de-registers their device, subsequently gets the text messages sent to them this lawsuit goes away.

              1. Don Jefe

                Re: @Condiment

                No. She is trying to turn a technical issue into a legal issue. If her lawyers argue that Apple's solution to the problem, deregistering the device, is inadequate that will mean Apple didn't deliver on their end of the contract.

                Again, that's not a T&C's legal issue. That's a technical issue where the extant technical solution's performance may not satisfy the terms of the contract. You can't put clauses that force you to give up rights into consumer contracts and you don't put technical instructions in there either. T&C's are consumer contracts and completely, 100% unrelated to the issue.

                Wrapping up, the crux of this is the interaction of technical support and consumer contract law, which has fuck all to do with Apple's T&C's. T&C's are not where you put instructions. You lot are in way over your heads.

                Who here has been sued for breach of contract? Anybody been taken to court over technical issues? T&C's issues? Who has a lawyer on staff? Weird, I only see one hand raised.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Condiment

                  As has been pointed out several times before, deregistering the device does not work. Some of the messages are still not delivered.

                  She has a contract with Verizon, not with Apple (she has deregistered). Apple's actions devalue the Verizon contract since she is not receiving the text messages being sent by other people. If it was Verizon's fault then they would give her a refund or free calls/texts/downloads but it is not Verizon's fault, it is Apple's. She is suing Apple for the devaluation of her contract with Verizon. If you look at a previous comment of mine you will see what she is demanding. She simply wants Apple to give her the texts that are sent to her.

                  Deregistering is not the solution. It does not work. She has performed every action under her control that she can, including deregistering, but she is still not receiving some text messages sent by iPhones.

            2. Paul 77

              Re: Oh FFS

              In reply to Don Jefe

              I think "hatred" is a very strong word, and I am not sure thats it. I like some of the things Apple have done. Lets take, for example, the earlier versions of the iPod. They are great products, and I have two. But *why* make it so difficult to use from Linux? Why not actually document how the database system on the iPod itself actually works (maybe that has been done now, but it hadn't when I last looked). If there is a variant of iTunes for Windows, why not make one for Linux - I doubt its that hard, and I suspect it would actually be used by quite a few people.

              Then there is the subject of the App Store Police, and (as the Reg reported some time ago) the incident where someone developed an app, which was then basically copied by Apple and then integrated into iOS.

              All these little annoyances and frustrations add up.

              Anyway, just my opinion.

      3. davidp231

        Re: Oh FFS

        And even then in the 300 volumes of addendums.

    2. Annihilator

      Re: Oh FFS

      Well yes, but once iMessage realises that the messages are undeliverable, it should really default back to SMS.

      It is a bit of a devil of a system though - I've had iMessages "disappear" despite being registered as delivered.

      1. Volker Hett

        Re: Oh FFS

        It does! Even to iPhone Users who are far away from mobile data services, i.e. here in the middle of a small rural village with just over 500.000 inhabitants where Vodafone can't be bothered with mobile data and such :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS

      "Basically you just de-register your mobe number with iMessage before fleeing the platform"

      And what happens if you flee the platform before then?

      I assume you aren't suggesting that everybody knows about this problem before they get a new phone.

      I would have thought this has data protection issues, Apple clearly has this persons number on a database so as to redirect the text messages to it internally. Customer no longer has a relationship with Apple and wants said number removed or at the very least to no longer be treated in this particular way because it is there.

      It seems Apple must have a legal requirement here to allow the easy removal of the number from the database or similar without requiring the consumer to still have access to the apple account and/or their Apple phone (I mention this as someone the other day suggested the solution is just to put your sim back in your apple phone, a solution which obviously can have a whole host of problems).

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Oh FFS

        And what happens if you flee the platform before then

        Then you log on to the Apple website and unregister it from there. See for example:

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Oh FFS

          The perils of OTT services.

          As I understand it, sender's iphones hold an addressbook entry tagging you as an imessage user and keep redirecting "messaging" (what everyone expects to be SMS) to apple rather than the telephone number. However, apple will have no way of differentiating between a flat battery and a migrated user.

          I think this is seamless on setup. Therefore, this should be seamless on teardown - i.e. an "offline" imessage should revert to SMS. I suspect Apple will deny that their messaging app is primarily sms and user's shouldn't expect sms.

          While I can understand how this happens technically. It is far too convenient for apple to leave such a bug in the system to make migrated users unhappy. They should be penalised for it. If setup is seamless getting you into imessage, the exit should also be seamless. If the destination imessage user is offline, it should tell the message originator app to immediately revert to proper SMS.

          I'm not sure about the fine though. It seems to high for damages but too low as a punitive measure. It just looks a bit opportunistic.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh FFS

            > apple will have no way of differentiating between a flat battery and a migrated user.

            The user has de-registered so Apples server knows they are no longer part of iMessage.

            The problem is that Apple never thought anybody would migrate from Apple to another phone so once somebodies phone has you registered as an iMessage user they will always send the message to Apples server. What should happen is that Apple's server should tell the phone that the contact is no longer part of iMessage and it should use alternative means (SMS) to send the message but it seems they never built this into the functionality of the app.

            > It seems to high for damages

            It is a class action so the 5 million gets shared between everybody affected.

      2. Bullseyed

        Re: Oh FFS

        "And what happens if you flee the platform before then?

        I assume you aren't suggesting that everybody knows about this problem before they get a new phone.


        This, for sure. Since Apple isn't able to stand at every phone store in the world and tell people how to do this, they have to figure out a fix. It is not the consumers fault that Apple built their own stores or that Apple's messenger software is so poorly designed.

        Not to mention, what if your phone falls into water or breaks, prompting your phone swap? I suppose the person is supposed to buy a brand new Apple phone, turn off iMessage, then throw the phone away?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS

      It translates into a lawsuit because even after switching off iMessages (which she has done) you still do not receive all the text messages sent to you.

      Apple told her (Para 21 of the complaint):

      Apple personnel informed Plaintiff that even though she had turned iMessage off in her old iPhone she may still not be receiving all her text messages because some texters using Apple devices may not be using the latest Apple iOS version. Rather than Apple coming up with a solution to a problem created by Apple, Apple’s representative instead suggested to Plaintiff that Plaintiff get her text message senders to update their Apple iOS to the latest version, or have them delete and then re-add Plaintiff as their contact, or have Plaintiff and these unsuccessful Apple texters start a new text conversation with Plaintiff.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Oh FFS

        So Apple HAVE come up with a solution, but her friends haven't installed it? This is Apple's fault why?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh FFS

          > So Apple HAVE come up with a solution, but her friends haven't installed it? This is Apple's fault why?

          Are you serious? You think an adequate solution if for the user to get everyone who might send her a text message to remove and re-enter her contact details or to upgrade?

          Any adequate solution should only involve her and/or Apple.

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: Oh FFS

            Are you serious? You think an adequate solution if for the user to get everyone who might send her a text message to remove and re-enter her contact details or to upgrade?

            You've misread my point (admittedly it was in reply to a post several lines above it). Newer versions of iOS fix the issue of not picking up the status change (i.e. Send via SMS rather than iMessage). The set of friends that she has, that use iPhones, that have contacted her previously via iMessage and are running an old version of iOS can't be a big number. If they upgrade (which costs them nothing) the problem should be sorted.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Oh FFS

              > The set of friends that she has ... running an old version of iOS can't be a big number.

              But this does not just involve her, this involves everybody who has moved from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone (which is why it is a class action). You can not expect her (or anybody else) to force other people to upgrade their version of iOS.

              If it was her service provider who was failing to deliver all SMS messages sent to her then she could complain to them and receive compensation in the form of free texts, free calls, free downloads, money back on the contract etc all of which has a monetary value. It is Apple that is failing and so she wants monetary compensation from Apple* for this. It is not her responsibility to ensure all her friends are running the latest version.

              *Actually she doesn’t want monetary compensation. She says in the complaint "money damages are not being currently sought as redress under the CLRA". She wants her text messages and she wants any text message sent from a iPhone to reach her. She only wants monetary compensation if Apple fails to do this.

              1. Volker Hett

                Re: Oh FFS

                So it can't be fixed with a software update because nobody can be forced to install an update?

    5. Irongut

      Re: Oh FFS

      And if your iShiny dies on you, prompting its replacement with SShiny, how are you supposed to de-register it?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS

      My understanding was that the Apple help topic solution doesn't always work - hence lots of forum requests for assistance with this. I seem to recall reading a few posts which said that Apple were aware of the issue but had no clue as to how to solve.

      Also once you've got rid of your iPhone it was quite difficult to de-register your mobile number.

      But agree, how this is worth anything beyond maybe a months airtime...

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Oh FFS

        I have asked, here's what I have learned. If you don't deregister your phone before you change to a non iMessage compatible device any iMessages that were sent to you after you moved your number will be lost until you deregister the phone and the change has propagated through the systems.

        That's why some messages get through, and others don't, just like changing DNS or MX records. If you don't follow the correct procedure it'll sort itself out, eventually, but there's going to be some stuff that gets lost until everything is on the same page.

        Could this transition be a little easier? Sure, but there's a publicly available procedure, that works, costs the customer zero in financial outlay and less than five minutes of reading time. If reading is too much work, call the carrier and find out what's up. I just did, took less than four (4) Earth minutes to get an answer.

        Any of those solutions are a fuckofalot easier than finding a lawyer who wants to mess with a case where RTFM is the problem. But actually fixing anything isn't her goal now is it :)

        1. HollyHopDrive

          Re: Oh FFS

          Where the #£%& does the 5 million in damages come from? Has it left her unable to walk? Jesus... If she asked for $500 (and that's a lot for not receiving a text) they'd have probably just paid to shut her up. Mind you lawyers don't want to settle for the compensation for the actual inconvenience do they? You can't buy a new house/car with those winning amounts. I'm no fan of apple but I hope this gets thrown out purely for greed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh FFS

            > Where the #£%& does the 5 million in damages come from?

            In order to get class action it has to exceed $5 million so the amount is for for more than $5 million.

            Since it is a class action (and not an individual action) the $5m is shared between all those who are affected by this.

            What she is actually asking for is:

            B. Damages to compensate Plaintiff and the Class members for Apple’s tortious interference with Plaintiff’s and the Class members’ contracts with their wireless carriers (money damages are not being currently sought as redress under the CLRA, but may be sought if and when Apple fails to comply with Plaintiff’s CLRA demand letter), with such damages to be awarded to Class members from a common fund Ordered by the Court to be set up and funded by Apple

            C. Restitution in such amount to be determined by the Court;

            D. A mandatory injunction requiring Apple to fix its iMessage and Messages service and application, such that these products do not continue to prevent Plaintiff and the Class members from receiving all their text messages sent to them for other Apple devices, and requiring Apple to deliver to Plaintiff and the Class members all previous text messages that were not delivered to them on their non-Apple devices as a result of the Apple iMessage and/or Messages service and application;

            E. An Order for injunctive relief requiring Apple to employ corrective disclosure that warns Class members and the public about the adverse consequences of using iMessage and Class Action Complaint Messages and subsequently switching from an Apple device to a non-Apple device, and instructing Plaintiff and the Class members as to how to remedy these adverse consequences;

            F. An order awarding Plaintiff her costs of suit, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and pre and post-judgment interest.

            G. An Order directing Apple to disseminate a Court-approved notice to the absent Class members, informing them about the pendency of this class action, and their rights in that regard;

            H. Such other and further relief as may be deemed necessary or appropriate.

            Sounds reasonable to me. She seems to be pissed off that she isn't getting text messages sent to her and wants to force Apple to fix its service.

            1. Paul 77

              Just wondering...

              How difficult it would be for Apple to make an iMessage client app for Android (and maybe <cough, splutter> Windows phone) devices... But then, I suppose they don't want to do it for the same reason they don't want to provide iTunes on Linux...

          2. Vector

            Re: Oh FFS

            "Where the #£%& does the 5 million in damages come from? Has it left her unable to walk? Jesus... If she asked for $500 (and that's a lot for not receiving a text) they'd have probably just paid to shut her up."

            And that is exactly why the $5 million (or larger if it gets class action status). This is an issue which Apple could fix but has no motivation to dedicate the resources required. If she had asked for $500 or even $5000, they would have paid her off and no real solution would be forthcoming.

            $5 million, on the other hand, is a strong motivator to fix the problem.

            I'm sure it's not all altruistic, but if she just wanted to get paid, lesser damages would have accomplished that goal.

    7. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

      Re: Oh FFS

      G10 helpfully provided a partial solution "... before fleeing the platform..."

      What if your iPhone went 'plop' into the Lobok River, and you had to run out to buy a new smartphone with zero time to plan ahe?

      Apple has failed. The lawsuit should get their attention.

    8. Benchops

      Re: Oh FFS

      > I fail to see how you can attach any financial significance to it in anywhere but America.

      This is in America so there's no problem.

  2. Randy Hudson


    The right to replace your cell phone with a new one every 18 months, regardless of manufacturer, will soon be known as Moore's law.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Prediction

      You've got the right to replace your phone every 18 hours if you want.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Prediction

        Technically you can upgrade whenever you like... you just have to pay through the nose if you aren't due for an upgrade, to the tune of whatever is left on the contract.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prediction

      Apple's law is roughly every 12-months.

  3. jai

    is she sure?

    Could be that, now that she's left the church, none of her apple-wielding friends want to send txts to her :)

    But seriously - claiming $5m seems a bit excessive? If she's expecting to recieve messages that are worth that much money to her, shouldn't she be relying on a different method of communication than txting?

    And also, $5m for not researching how to switch phone beforehand - it's a lot of money to claim for what is essentially user error.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: is she sure?

      "But seriously - claiming $5m seems a bit excessive?"

      That figure will have been derived for her using a *very* complex formula by her ever-so-helpful legal team, and resulting (should they win) with 20% for her and 80% for them == kerchiiing!!!

    2. Tenacal

      Re: is she sure?

      $5m for attention.

      If you're looking to start a class action lawsuit then you're going to have a lot more people join you if they think they can get a slice of $millions rather than a few thousand.

      Also makes for better headlines for various articles on the topic.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But seriously - claiming $5m seems a bit excessive?

    You don't understand a txt msg is a vital form of communication. Due to this shocking lock in business tactic from Apple this woman has missed critical messages that have left her a social outcast amongst her friends, because of her failure to reply to texts that were sitting on a dead mans server in Cupertino. You simply cannot put a price on emotional distress like that, but $5m is a good place to start

    1. Steve Todd

      iMessage users get delivery and read confirmations. Such friends as she has who are using iPhones know that the messages are not being delivered and can use alternate methods like email. This is plain and simple greed, not compensation for actual hurt.

      1. Bullseyed

        "iMessage users get delivery and read confirmations."

        Except, moron troll, if you bother to actually read anything you'll see that those notifications are actually created by the server and have no bearing on whether the message was actually delivered or not.

        All of the thousand or millions of texts that have been swallowed up by this black hole read as "delivered" on the iMessage service, despite not being delivered.

        Kind of like how Apple had their signal set to always show as 4 or 5 bars on AT&Ts network a few years back.

        1. Steve Todd

          Except as someone who actually USES the product in question I know that the server DOESN'T create those messages. They are triggered by the receiving app. What were you saying about trolling?

          1. Annihilator

            "Except as someone who actually USES the product in question I know that the server DOESN'T create those messages. They are triggered by the receiving app. What were you saying about trolling?"

            See my post above, had exactly that situation just last week - iMessage sent to wife was "delivered" but never received. It may well have happened to you - unless you expect a response, you don't know if it wasn't delivered or not.

            A quick google retrieves other examples:


            1. Steve Todd

              @Annihilator - you're going to have to do better than that

              A link to a (not very large) forum thread, where most of the posts are from 2012 and such recent post as they are mostly say "resetting the network settings on the phone fixed it". That doesn't constitute proof that it's either a widespread problem or that the issue is at the server end not the phone.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Bullseyed

      "But seriously - claiming $5m seems a bit excessive?

      You don't understand a txt msg is a vital form of communication."

      Not really the point. Apple is engaging in anti-competitive activities in a medium designated as a common carrier. Highly illegal.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Highly illegal.


        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Highly illegal.


          1. Frankee Llonnygog

            Re: Highly illegal.

            Hmm... Hot Tea Falls, Dampening Your Knees ... Hipsters' Terribly Fashionable Dyed Yellow Knapsacks ... Horny Teetotal Fanboi Demonstrates Yodelling Kickboxing? No, can't be right. Oh wait, maybe I'm supposed to sound it out, like WYSIWYG? Let me see... HOTFADICK? Kind of you to offer, old chap, but I'm afraid I must decline.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Highly illegal.

              @Frankee Llonnygog - that was incredibly stupid and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. Have a thumbs up.

              1. Frankee Llonnygog

                Re: Highly illegal.

                Thanks. I'm trying (very). Thumbs up yourself (I should probably rephrase that ... )

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Anti-competative my arse.

  5. ukgnome Silver badge

    When you send an iMessage it is sent encrypted, it's not Apple's fault that this lusers Samsung cannot decrypt it.....

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      I wish that was a troll. Call yourself a tech site reader? Go on, get out with you, don't come back.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy fix

    Apple create the iMessage android app

    1. jai

      Re: Easy fix

      in other news sinners have been seen ice skating upon the river Phlegethon, and snowball fights have broken out in Malebolge

      1. Arctic fox

        @jai RE:"in other news sinners have been......." All right old chap I'll bite.......... translate that for me...hmm?

        1. jai

          @Arctic fox: Re:All right old chap I'll bite..........

          they're places referenced in Dante's Inferno. i was subtly implying that it'll be a cold day in hell before Apple create an iMessage app for Android.

          Although, as I discovered and 's water music pointed out - when you get to the very heart of hell, it's actually already a frozen mass of ice.

          Maybe that means Dante was predicting that there will be an iMessage app on 'droid after all....

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Easy fix

        snowball fights have broken out in Malebolge

        Come on, it's not as if the eighth circle is cold. Stan probably chewed a bit off his lump of ice while Judas was on a tea break and lobbed it over...

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Easy Fail

          it's not as if the eighth circle is cold

          hot dammit, it's not as if the eight circle is hot. Don't up-vote, it only encourages me.

          1. jai

            Re: Easy Fail

            yeah - admittedly i was skimming wikipedia, and it only really mentions that the 9th circle is where it gets really cold. i couldn't see if the 8th circle was much more than temperate.

            seems strange. it seems that as long as you're not traitorous (and therefore end up in the 9th circle) then if you're on the road to hell already, it's probably best to go as bad as you can, at least then you'll get tollerable weather conditions while you're there. the mildly evil get burnt. Judas gets frozen. but those in between get a nice warm summers day.

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Easy fix

      Yeah right. Apple intends its software to be a selling point of its hardware. E.g you can't use Apple Maps unless you have an iPhone or a Mac. They don't even have a website for it.

      I think iTunes is about the only exception, in that it is also available for Windows… But I wouldn't hold my breath about an Android version. No way, no how.

  7. TRT Silver badge

    I really don't see...

    what she's got to complain about. She's not being slighted at all by Apple. She has no contract with Apple now, none of her rights have been interfered with, her health isn't being put in danger...

    This is just a total non-starter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really don't see...

      If she no longer has a contract, then Apple should stop interfering in her service...Thats sort of the point, regardless of $5m being reasonable.

      1. jai

        Re: I really don't see...

        if she hasn't told them that she's changed to a phone that is incompatible with iMessage (i.e. deregistered her number from iMessage) then how are Apple to know?

        that's like complaining that your utilities bills are still being direct debit'ed from an old bank account, causing it to go into overdraft, because you didn't inform them to switch to your new account.

        1. b166er

          Re: I really don't see...

          Sorry jai, but that doesn't work.

          Until I read this story, I thought the receiving of SMS messages was irrevocably tied to the subscriber number and was unaware that an intermediary could intervene and prevent delivery.

          I don't feel a third party should be able to decide whether or not I receive an SMS (or telephone calls for that matter). I have a contract with a cellular network to supply me with telephony, SMS and data services. My tariff clearly states how many phone calls, how many texts and how much data I can use. The SMS service is quite clearly provided by that contract.

          Perhaps in the small print for iMessage, it says that henceforth Apple will be responsible for SMS delivery, but I think that's wrong and that most users wouldn't have understood the consequences. SMS messaging has been a function of cellular network providers since its inception.

          Apple need to fix this one.

          1. Argh

            Re: I really don't see...

            As I understand it, it's because iMessage doesn't send SMS to a number, once it knows that number is an iDevice, it uses a proprietary Apple format.

            Apple isn't intercepting SMS messages, it's just not forwarding on their proprietary ones and her friends aren't sending SMS. Imagine it a bit like you using Skype, then you stop using Skype but all your Skype friends still sending messages to you on it. The main difference is that Skype makes the difference between SMS and Skype messages very obvious whereas iMessage hides it from the users and "auto-detects" if the receiving number is an iDevice, but needs it to be manually deregistered by the owner of the receiving iDevice if the number is used by a different phone vendor.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: I really don't see...

              This is exactly the explanation. Except that in this case it is the sender's iPhone that knows if the recipient is an iPhone using iMessages based on past communications. It has to be that way, as who is going to pick up the tab for an SMS if it isn't sent from the sender's iPhone via the message centre? Not Apple. Her SMS messages as she claims aren't waiting in an Apple server, they're not SMS messages, they're iMessage messages, waiting for her push notified devices to come and collect them.

              The problem seems to be that her friend's iPhones aren't getting the message that her local contact ID that was used to build the group, or used to initiate a contact, is no longer iMessage. If she's registered another iMessage device, I'm not surprised that's the case - why would that happen? It's not logical.

              It is interesting to note that if one sends an SMS to a friend's iPhone from a not-iMessaging-phone with the same phone number, the incoming caller ID flips the mobile number on the contact from iPhone to Mobile. That's all she needs to do! It's only people who's phones knew she had an iMessage linked iPhone that need to receive the message - if she's deregistered her number from an iMessage association, then no new contacts are going to flip her contact status.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I really don't see...

              On my iPhone it is obvious: iMessages are in a different colour. The whole bubble is blue. SMSs are green. I've got one set of messages from a friend who must have changed her mobile to be a non-iPhone or been somewhere not supporting iMessages. All messages to her were in blue and recently

              changed to green.

              I suspect this is the usual case of a user having precious little idea of what she is doing (most of us are like that in most things outside our professional or hobby interests) and, really, crying foul through ignorance. Have we not all experienced perfectly pleasant and intelligent people doing the same as soon as they need computer or mobile 'phone help?

          2. DougS Silver badge

            @b166er - you misunderstand

            There is no "intermediary" intervening. When someone uses the iMessage app on iOS, if the app has a user listed as an iMessage user it will try to send messages via iMessage. SMS is the "fallback" option for users who aren't iMessage users or when iMessage delivery fails.

            Given that one of the options she's presented with is to ask her friends to delete and re-add her contact, I don't see what the big deal is. When they can't get in touch with her presumably they'd call or ask a mutual friend what's up.

            How is Apple supposed to know when an iPhone owner buys a Samsung and uses it instead? I doubt the carrier notifies them, and the user could swap the SIM around themselves if they had unlocked phones. From Apple's perspective the iMessage can't be delivered, but that will also happen when they don't have a data connection available. When my data connection is unavailable I get text messages from my iPhone owning friends, so I find it difficult to believe she's really getting NOTHING. Maybe if someone is offline on iMessage for a week Apple could send them an email with a link to unregister from iMessage in case they're no longer using iOS?

            This is a typical lawsuit over nothing from someone hoping to make a buck they don't deserve. She can't even point to real harm - if she missed a critical text that caused her to not get a job on Wall Street she could point to something, but I suspect the worst damage was that she missed a booty call or when her friends got together for some drinks she was late and they made her buy the next round!

            1. b166er

              Re: @b166er - you misunderstand

              From TFA:

              'Since iOS 5, Apple has been using the iMessage service to deliver ordinary texts from people if those folks also have Apple devices and use the iMessage service. This is in addition to the free messages people can send from Apple-to-Apple over Wi-Fi or using mobile data.'

              It's not the same as WhatsApp etc at all...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I really don't see...

            An APPLE product does NOT send anything as SMS, they send the messages as an IMessage, more proprietary BS that is absolutely not required to text anyone other than ANDROID phone cannot receive them without modification.

            You are absolutely correct SMS has been a function of cellular network providers since it's inception, BUT APPLE CAN'T LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE, THEY HAVE TO CHANGE THE PROTOCOL.

          4. Ivan Headache

            Re: I really don't see...

            Except that iMessage is not SMS as it works with computers that are not phones and also with non-cellular iPod and iPads. It is not tied to a number but to a user.

        2. g e




        3. Bullseyed

          Re: I really don't see...

          "if she hasn't told them that she's changed to a phone that is incompatible with iMessage"

          If you bother to read anything before trolling, you'd know that even when you do de-register with iMessage, you still don't receive those messages about 75% of the time.

        4. hitmouse

          Re: I really don't see...

          I went through this weeks ago: turned off in it iMessage and deregistered the phone from Apple's servers. That didn't work - messages were simply lost, going neither to old iPhone or new Android phone. No error registered at sender's phone.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: I really don't see...

            Did it show the message as "Delivered"? I've seen some iMessage weirdness before, when my girlfriend added her iPad to iMessage using her email address it started trying to send some of my iMessages randomly to it (because I had her email in my contacts along with her phone number)

            In this case I could always tell something was up when the message wasn't shown as delivered. Was a bit confusing for a while but eventually got things sorted out.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I really don't see...

        "Apple should stop interfering in her service"

        They aren't. It's her friends who haven't flipped the setting against her name in contacts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I really don't see...

          I changed my number and suddenly I 'm not getting calls any more ...

          I bought a nice little mobile in New Xyz in USA and it does not work with Exophone in Europe ....

          Wonder if I can sue a la USA.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really don't see...

      Oh come on - this is America!

  8. Mikel

    somebody had to sue

    Otherwise they wouldn't fix it.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: somebody had to sue

      Here's hoping someone sues regarding the multitasking in iOS7 then. At the moment it's pot-luck with copy-and-paste whether or not the pastee app (usually a browser) will refresh and lose context when the time comes. Damn annoying.

  9. AF

    I had this

    I deregistered, switched to Android, but texts weren't arriving - a quick call to Apple solved the problem over the phone. They're not indifferent, they know about it and they'll happily fix it while-you-wait... But that's obviously not as easy as just suing someone, is it?

    1. Bullseyed

      Re: I had this

      Except if you read this and the thousands of other blogs/posts/threads/etc about it all over the internet, you'd know you're in the vast, vast minority.

      First, if you don't own an iPhone anymore, talking to "Apple Support" costs $20. This is an illegal fee in the context of these anti-competitive policies.

      Second, most of the time (75%+) when you call up Apple and describe the problem they say "sorry, no idea, can't help, go away". This has probably changed now that the lawsuit has been filed.

      Third, the only solution Apple has been suggesting is to contact every single person you've ever met, ask what kind of phone they use, ask what their iOS version is and ask them to remove or add contacts, which is highly unreasonable. It would be kind of funny though, if Apple users started getting inundated with calls from people abandoning Apple.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: I had this

      Typical Apple Arrogance.

      Apple created this problem with their buggy implementation of iMessage. Either Apple are incompetent or it is a deliberate attempt to make it hard to switch.

      I suspect it's arrogance and incompetence.

      Most phone users are not IT experts. Many have never used email or internet other than on phone. In Many Developed Countries as high as 33% have not used Internet.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: I had this

        There may be issues with their iMessage implementation, I've got do idea (mine just work, Ha! :). However, making change difficult isn't a remotely valid argument. Know why?

        Because setup and inter device data transfer are the highest margin items the carriers and resellers have. Some insanely huge majority (over 90%), regardless of device manufacturer, just pay their carrier to do all that shit for them. Hell, I watched as a tech at BestBuy transferred the data from a customers iPhone 4 to new 4S. I don't know if you're familiar with that process, but you turn the old phone off, turn the new phone on and wait for the transfer to complete. They rung her up, with the added the data transfer fee, while they waited. I only know that because he went over the bill with her line by line.

        Apple could give zero fucks about the 10% of new device buyers who prefer to do everything themselves. It would cost them more money to design deliberately difficult processes than to do nothing. Just let the customer pay the reseller for the pleasure of turning off the old phone. Or actually having to plug the phones into the doodads they transfer everything with.

  10. Wanderingone56ish


    “Unbeknownst ......... to Plaintiff," - who is a former Apple user?

    I call bullshit.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I call bullshit on the claim that had she known that if in the future she decided not to continue to use an iPhone that she might have to take additional steps to deregister certain service, that she wouldn;t have bought an iPhone to begin with.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trouble is, it puts the requirement on the user to know how iMessage interacts with SMS and fix it if they are aware that they are no longer getting SMS texts from people they were previously.

    That shouldn't be the case. Apple should see that this account has iMessages building up and, if they haven't been opened after a reasonable amount of time, e.g. a week, send this user a notification via SMS/Email informing them of the fact and providing easy steps for the function to be deactivated so that all future messages sent from iMessage are instead sent via SMS.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      I agree that would probably be a smart thing to do, but even if they offered to do it I doubt she'd drop her suit. She's in it for the money, and can't even point to any actual injury. If she has so little connection with her friends that when they text her and she doesn't respond they don't try to reach her in other ways money isn't the answer.

  12. jonnieboyracer

    The action seems unlikely to succeed. If an iPhone attempts to send to a recipient who formerly used iMessage, after a few minutes of non-delivery, the iPhone sends the message as a regular text message. It doesn't seem to be that messages are lost, merely delayed by a few minutes. And, of course, if she had switched off iMessage on the iPhone before removing the SIM, there wouldn't have been a problem, either....

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      @jonnieboyrace: yes, that's what's supposed to happen. Now go and read the suit, and learn that it isn't.

      Have a day.

      Meanwhile, the "correct" solution is easy to describe (it's just like email: try for X days, then return to sender as undeliverable, with the added wrinkle that in the event of a return-to-sender notification, it would be appropriate to "revert" the delivery mechanism back to SMS, which after all "just works").

      We all know that Apple doesn't _want_ to make it as easy for non-iThings to interoperate with iThings. Sure, they may tolerate it, but in Apple's world it's much better to be pure iThing.

      I am surprised that they didn't suggest, as an alternative to getting all her friends to upgrade their iStuff to the newest iSoft, that she "upgrades" her (undeniably superior) Galaxy S5 to an iThing. It's just as daft.

  13. Bladeforce

    The best story...

    To highlight why proprietary programs suck the blood from your veins. Stick to open source stuff and you'll never have this problem. Whining lemmings

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: The best story...

      Good point. I will now use my open source phone to send an open source message over the end-to-end non-proprietary and open-source network.

      Tin Can 1 calling Tin Can 2, over.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: The best story...

      What the ever loving fuck does software licensing have to do with any of this? OSS does not mean that an application has to be convenient, or even work. OSS just means you can fuck around with it if you aren't happy with the way it works when you get it.

      Regarding this story, seeing as how this lady doesn't like to read user documentation, I find it highly unlikely she's going to fire up Eclipse and modify a bunch of code. It takes a shitload of reading to do that.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    in summary

    iPleb suddenly discovers the first of many Applr lock ins that everyonone else is well aware of.

  15. Simon Harris Silver badge


    When I look at the Apple page about iMessage (at least for this country:, it doesn't say anything about it working on a non-Apple device.

    Just what was she expecting?

  16. hypernovasoftware

    iMessage is iOS/OS X only.

    This lawsuit is ridiculous.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      @hypernovasoftware: your comment is even more ridiculous.

      The problem is not whether iMessage works on anything else, BUT HOW DO YOU CONVINCE iMESSAGE FROM TRYING ANYWAY!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


    2. John Bailey

      "iMessage is iOS/OS X only.

      This lawsuit is ridiculous."

      SMS is universal.

      This law suit has merit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        iMessage is not SMS and is therefore not universal. (except to registered users)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        iMessage isn't SMS. This lawsuit is frivolous.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's the very REASON for suing...

      You missed the joke icon, there is NO NEED for proprietary APPLE BS in the way of ANY text message for any reason.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't care..

    who suits who for what, but lets put some fucking reality into the situation. $5,000,000?

    Fuck off.

    Just... fuck off.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Re: I don't care..

      Sauce for the goose....

      How much money did Apple win for bogusly pretending they inventing rounded corners? This is about 0.5% of that.

      Seems much more reasonable in that context.

      (Of course, neither are reasonable in any real-world context, but never mind...)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't care..

      If she sued for $50, would Apple even bother responding? By suing for $5 million, she's probably got the attention of someone at Apple - she's certainly got the attention of everyone else.

  18. jonathanb Silver badge

    iMessage isn't always best anyway.

    On O2 for example, everyone has unlimited SMS from UK-UK, but most people have limited data. Therefore if you are sending a message, it is better to use SMS unless you are sending it to a foreign resident or if you are roaming at the time you send the message. Even if you are roaming, when you do find Wifi, it is probably better to use the TuGo app to send the SMS over Wifi so the recipient gets it for free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iMessage isn't always best anyway.

      "On O2 for example, everyone has unlimited SMS from UK-UK, but most people have limited data"

      That 'limited data' on O2 does seem to have a habit of growing...

      On my current contract, I originally subscribed for 3 GB/month of data. This was immediately increased to 5 GB/month because they had an offer on at the time to automatically jump you to the next tier, at no additional charge, if you subscribed to a 4G service before a particular date. Then, about 3 months later, they arbitrarily jumped me to 8 GB/month (again at no extra cost)... so now I have much more data allowance per month than I know what to do with! My entire messaging usage for a month, if converted to data rather than SMS, wouldn't even make a dent in that!

  19. Mark Allen

    Small Businessman here...

    This is a funny thread to read as there is so much Apple vs Android rant in here. Which then kind of misses the point.

    I certainly don't agree with the $5 million figure, but this is a valid issue. Apple are clearly responsible by merging SMS into iMessage and should be the ones to fix this. The average iPhone user doesn't have a clue how the tech works - that is the point! Apple users are not supposed to be geeks.

    What I do find interesting is this the business angle. I run a small IT business. So my phone number is in hundreds if not thousands of phone contact lists of my clients. Now assume I wasn't an IT whizz and I decided to move from iPhone to Android without de-registering first. This would be almost impossible for me to follow the "Apple Solution" of contacting everyone who has my number in their phone to tell them to "delete and re-add me".

    How would I know who to contact? How would I know which of my clients of the last umpteen years currently own an iPhone?

    I have a lot of clients who contact me via SMS. The iMessage bug would mean I would be directly loosing new work as that client would not be able to reach me. In those situations I could see how a $5million law suit could start to add up. It all depends on the trade of the defendant.

    This is an insane bug from Apple. Though it does follow that arrogant pattern of "You will never leave" that seems to be built around the religion that is Apple Products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Small Businessman here...

      Here's the thing; they do fix this.

  20. Herby Silver badge

    $5M figure...

    Well, given that lawyers need to 1) Make a good name for themselves, and 2) Make money, the $5M figure is easy to explain.

    Yes, $4,999,000 for the lawyer (expenses, you know!), and $1000 for the plaintiff (do I have to give them anything?). Oh, and $5M just to get some attention (more than likely).

    I'm sure others will chime in here to further distribute the "spoils of war".

  21. Hywel Thomas

    Previously unseen levels of idiocy here.

    while !you_think_this_case_has_merit:

    read( "")

    print("Congratulations. You are no longer an idiot")

  22. NFH

    As an iPhone user who travels often and uses a different SIM card in each country, I am experiencing effects of the same iOS defect. When I travel, the following occurs:

    1. With iOS 5, I could simply switch SIM cards and iMessage would be immediately deactivated on Apple's servers for the previous SIM card's mobile number. Since iOS 6, I have to turn off iMessage and FaceTime before removing the previous SIM card. As an additional measure advised by Apple but which doesn't make much difference, I also sign out of my Apple ID for both iMessage and FaceTime before turning off both services.

    2. When I arrive in the next country, I insert a SIM card local to that country.

    3. My iPhone sends a chargeable international SMS text message to +44 7786 205094 and/or +44 7537 4102X1 (X can be any digit). These numbers are Apple's iMessage and FaceTime activation servers hosted by Vodafone UK for users in most countries. In iOS 5 and 6, the chargeable international SMS text message was sent only when iMessage and FaceTime were turned on, but it is sent immediately in iOS 7, giving the user no choice as to whether a charge will be incurred. Intermittently a warning pops up that the carrier might charge for iMessage and FaceTime activation, but this is too intermittent to be reliable.

    4. I turn on iMessage and FaceTime and wait for both services to activate.

    5. Very often the services fail to activate on the first attempt because of frequent intermittent problems affecting Apple's regional iMessage and FaceTime activation servers outside the United States. When this failure occurs, a workaround is to change one's wifi connection's DNS server temporarily to Google's US-based DNS server,, following which iMessage and FaceTime activate successfully via Apple's more reliable servers in the United States. More chargeable international SMS text messages are sent, incurring further financial loss.

    6. When someone sends a text to the mobile number I was using in the previous country, their iPhone causes it to be sent inappropriately as iMessage rather than as SMS. Consequently these messages are undelivered and lost forever, but iOS even falsely indicates to the sender that the undelivered message was in fact delivered, even though I have no other iOS devices to which the message might have been delivered. I have experienced the same false delivery reports when I sent messages to other iPhone users who have switched SIM cards. This gives the false impression of rudeness by the recipient because the sender is misled that the recipient has received the message but has not responded.

    7. While outside the UK, I want to reinsert my UK SIM card into my iPhone once per day and retrieve any SMS messages sent to my UK number, but this process is frustrated for two reasons: the issues above in step 3 whereby a SIM insertion charge is incurred, and the issues above in step 6 whereby other iPhones will have erroneously sent me messages as iMessage rather than as SMS.

    I have reported these issues to Apple many times but they seem indifferent.

    1. Stretch

      "I have reported these issues to Apple many times but they seem indifferent."


  23. ben kendim

    Does Number Portability apply to SMS???

    If so, then the FCC should be breathing down Apple's neck right about now...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IMessage is NOT SMS and NOT universal

    They are clearly not SMS, they are shown as a different colour in the UI so that you can seen that. I think it even says sending as iMessage while it's sending. Another big clue that the application is multi-format capable.

    iMessage is an OTT service much like what's app, the only difference being Apple choose to only provide a client on iOS and OSX, no where is it suggested the service, for that is what it is advertised as I believe, is compatible with Samsung or android.

    Given that most iMessage using iPhones can be updated to iOS 7 and that take up rate is about 75% this strikes me as user error.

    I am surprised that her friends iPhones haven't noticed she isn't iMessage enabled, my iPhone switches between sending iMessages and SMS to the same user, almost randomly. Admittedly I don't add any of my contact numbers as iPhone numbers.

    Still this should be thrown out, it is apples choice as to which software and services it ports to other devices/OS's.

    Apple should try to make the process slicker, but it is bound by the people updating to the latest version of the software to fix bugs etc and the information it gets about its phones from the operators. When she upgraded the operator is unlikely to tell Apple that it's ported the number. The first real evidence that Apple might get is if the phone is sold and a new number mapped to the IMEI number.

    It's not like they can get this information reliable from iTunes either as, assuming iTunes was used at all with the phone upgrading to a Samsung is unlikely going to trigger her to remember to die register the phone in iTunes.

    It's unlikely the the network operator has any interest in what phone she is upgrading from so doesn't forward this on to apple, if they did it could be seen as a breach of privacy I guess.

    The only really choice, that would 100% solve the issue as far as I can see is to have a separate iMessage application. I wonder how many of her friends would message her thanking her for that advance.

    Only people winning here are the lawyers.

  25. Andrew Jones 2

    Everyone seems to be missing the main points here -

    1) iMessage is the default messaging system for iPhones, I know a lot of people who use it - but they couldn't tell you how it works - only that it does.

    It's hardly surprising that most users don't know that they have to "opt-out" of the service when they want to change away from the iPhone because most of them don't really know they ever opted-in to it in the first place.

    2) Removing yourself from the iMessage database by turning iMessage off is not guaranteed to work and there are countless stories of this all over the internet - but Apple say it is OK - because you will eventually drop off the database after 45 days!

    3) There are also countless stories across the internet that show that if you want to opt-out of iMessage, you must do so on ALL your iDevices - not just your iPhone. Which is nonsensical why would anyone ever imagine that turning iMessage off on their iPhone but leaving it switched on - on their iPad or Mac computer would cause issues? There is no doubt a technical reason for it - but if Apple need encouragement to fix the issue - this is probably the big one. It should not be an all or nothing service.

    Technically Apple are not doing anything illegal, they are not interfering with the users service - as provided by the carrier. But at the same time - they are on dodgy ground and liable to a court case - because a quick Google will pull up numerous stories of people changing from iPhone to another mobile running a different OS and finding that they are not receiving text messages from other iPhone users, figuring it is the phone or OS at fault - they are then moving back to Apple. A court would find this behaviour anti-competitive especially as there have been reports of it for going on 3 years now, and Apple still haven't done anything to fix it.

    Let's be clear here - if the system can drop you off the database after 45 days, then the system knows the last time it saw you connected - at the very least - Apple could change this window to a few days instead of 45 days!

  26. Stretch

    Frankly, there was a simple and obvious mistake made

    Which was ever using, looking at, touching or being near any Crapple device.

    For example I won't even call someone if I know they have a shitephone.

    1. jai

      Re: Frankly, there was a simple and obvious mistake made

      Which was ever moving away from using an Apple device


      if she hadn't switched phones, none of this would have been a problem, and all of you lot wouldn't have had such high blood pressure over the last day while reading this article and comments :)

  27. Jean-Paul

    Don't get it

    I've chanced to Android, back to iOS, to WebOS, to IOS, to Android, to iOS, to BB10, to iOS. Always got my text messages no problem at all. A case of pibkac and or she needs better friends.

    Interestingly, IMO Apple is not interfering with her service, but with those of her friends.....will be interesting to learn the outcome.

    In the mean time, get better friends.

  28. Velv Silver badge

    iMessage - taking a perfectly good service and screwing it up completely.

    When you send a text message (SMS) you have come to expect it will be delivered in a reasonable time frame subject to connectivity.

    If you install a messaging app (e.g. whatsapp), you expect it to deliver in a reasonable time frame subject to connectivity.

    iMessage broke both models. It hooks into the interface for SMS giving the impression you are sending an SMS but is in fact sending a different type of message. In theory it falls back to SMS if it can't iMessage, but I found very quickly this was unreliable. So iMessage remains firmly switched OFF. Apple - please go away and rethink.

  29. Dogsauce

    Have that many people lost their jobs recently that they've had to downgrade to a Samsung? I wouldn't have thought it was that common a problem.


  30. Shaha Alam

    can the class-action be extended to include existing imessage users who're finding that their messages aren't being delivered to ex-imessage users?

    that sounds like a "failure to deliver service" breach of contract.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want Apple to forget me

    Slightly off-topic perhaps but I have a similar issue with Apple's "you will never leave us" attitude. I bought some music on iTunes ages ago. Now I want to delete my Apple ID. I don't find any way to do so. I have browsed the Apple website but I can't find anything helpful.

    Is there a way?

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