When iOS7 made its debut, it brought iMessage with it across all iDevices from intake. Users could send text messages to their friends or loved ones free of charge. The Mac also gained iMessage in OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), as long as users set up an Apple ID. It allows Mac users to also combine it with various chat and text messaging services such as AIM and Google Talk to communicate with one another.
However, the free messaging service isn't without its quirks. One of the bugs or quirks many users have been complaining about since its inception is what happens when they switch phones and carriers while keeping their old number they used for iMessages. If they trade in an iPhone for a Windows phone, for instance, they lose access to their previous messages.
Apple was even subjected to a lawsuit due to a user saying that when she switched from an iPhone to an Android phone, the messaging system interfered with text delivery.
Apple retained the text messages sent from other Apple-device users and would not deliver them to her Samsung phone, which was running an Android mobile OS, Adrienne Moore said. This created a problem and penalized people in essence who left Apple's ecosystem or switched phones.
Apparently, there is a flaw in Apple's iMessage system that still recognizes the devices that retained the same numbers when the user switched brands, as iPhones, no matter what phone they are. So, the texts are sent to a nonexisting iPhone rather than the new phone. To avoid this, users have to turn off iMessage and uncheck their phone numbers on the iPhone they are trading in or getting rid of. However, if such a phone is lost or stolen this creates problems.
However, Apple claims it is already working on addressing and fixing the issue. A future software update should clear it up.
"We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update," Apple says in a statement to re/code."For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare."
Keep in mind that iMessage relies on a Wi-Fi connection and not a data carrier, which is why it is unlimited and free to use for both mobile device users and Mac users. The nature of iMessages being Wi-Fi-based and encrypted, along with Facetime, also makes it more secure in ways than standard SMS text messages.
It will alleviate a lot of headaches for those unfortunate enough to lose their phones and want another brand's phone if Apple fixes this issue completely.