I don’t know what was worse, whether before, when Apple kept silent until it had the solution to a problem, or now, coming up with a statement that was at least unsatisfactory. With these words, Natalie Harrison, the representative of Apple , throws the ball out before the sound incident starring Gizmodo and an Apple Store employee because of the iMessage account linkage system.
Harrison gives the solution to the problem : disable and re-enable iMessage in Settings> Messages, a fantastic solution if you have good intentions and do not want to spy on anyone, but which will offer little comfort to those who have no way of physically accessing the device, either because they have accidentally lost it or have been the victim of a theft.
What happens is that when we activate an iPhone with iOS 5, Apple’s servers store the UDID (the unique device identifier) next to the identifier of the SIM card inserted at that time. Even if we remove it, iMessage messages can still arrive via Wi-Fi, and even if we insert another SIM card, its identifier is added to the old one instead of replacing it so that those of us with multiple devices (an iPhone and an iPad 3G for example) receive messages on both.
The solution proposed by Apple is simply unacceptable for several reasons:
- In Europe, where we are very used to the SIM cards of the GSM networks, it has always been a common thing to go around changing cards. This is done by people with several contracts, and also sometimes when a friend runs out of battery and asks us for our phone to put his card in because he is expecting some important call.
- More generally, Apple tries to make users guess in some magical way that if they sell their phone, they have to remove the SIM card before erasing it and leave it with the factory settings. If some of the Geniuses at the Apple Store don’t know that, how is my dad going to know.
- To top it off, assume you can disable and activate iMessage on the affected phone whenever you want – something clearly impossible in the event of theft or loss.
That said, we insist, the iMessage error is a design run error , which can be easily fixed by updating the registry automatically whenever a SIM yo change is detected offering a mechanism similar to iTunes to manage the devices linked to our account through the Apple ID management page.