Apple will make it easier for ex-iPhone users switching to Android or Windows Phone to receive text messages, after iMessage was reportedly stopping users from receiving SMS messages on their new device. Instead of calling Apple Care to make sure the system recognizes the new smartphone, users can now go online and deregister their iMessage account. This will remove their iPhone ID from the iMessage system.
Current iPhone users who simply want to remove iMessage can also do this – Apple shows this on the deregister page. We cannot see a good reason for removing iMessage, perhaps a lack of data and unlimited texts; since most contracts now offer unlimited calls and SMS. It would be nice for Apple to implement the deregister by default whenever the same phone-number is using a different device, but we should be thankful Apple has added any support at all, especially concerning iPhone users switching to Android.
Apple got into hot-water a few months ago, when a woman in California filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, for withholding SMS messages due to an iMessage bug. Apple reportedly fixed the issue, but is offering this new service, just in case. iMessage has become one of the most used Apple services, working directly on the SMS messaging app. It is still lacking in features compared to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and is only available on iOS. It is also a good country yard behind WhatsApp and other popular messaging services in terms of active monthly users, even though iMessage is auto-built into the SMS app. WhatsApp currently has 650 million active users.
Rumors have circulated about Apple creating an Android version of iMessage, but this is unlikely, considering Apple will not be able to utilise the SMS app in the same way and would give Android users free SMS messages – something we cannot see Apple even thinking of doing.