A woman in California has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple. Her beef is that she has not been able to receive messages from her iPhone-toting buddies ever since she switched to a Samsung smartphone, despite being able to send them SMS normally.
For those unfamiliar with iMessage, Apple's messaging system allows messages between iPhone users to be delivered either via the regular SMS or via iMessage instant messaging depending on the availability of an Internet connection. It's all fine and good, until one of those users defects to another smartphone that isn't one of Apple's products. Former iPhone users can send messages to their former iPhone buddies via SMS, but when said buddies reply, the system will think that the number is still associated with an iMessage account and send it via iMessage. But since there is no iPhone on the receiving end, the message is practically sent to a virtual black hole, causing confusion, consternation, and, apparently, a lawsuit.
The plaintiff, a certain Adrianne Moore, says that users switching away from Apple's ecosystem are being "penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts." Meaning, they're practically paying for something they aren't able to use. And that doesn't even include the potential damages, emotional or otherwise, that might arise from missing a critical message or two.
Apple is well aware of the issue and its engineers are said to already be working on a fix. Right now, the only solution available to those switching to a non-iPhone device is to deregister their number from iMessage. Unfortunately, that can only be done from inside the iPhone so it has to be performed before you rid yourself of it. Otherwise, if you no longer have your iPhone in your possession, you are left with no other recourse but to contact Apple's customer support and wait for them to get back to you.