An unusual new iPhone bug is apparently deactivating iMessage and Facetime for some users. The leading solution requires owners to go down to a physical retail store and get a new SIM card.
The issue stems from Apple’s eSIM inside its recent smartphones. For those unaware, rather than a replaceable SIM card, Apple introduced new eSIM chips built into the phone, starting with the iPhone XR and XS back in 2018. And while you can still use a physical SIM, many owners opt for the easier eSIM.
However, those eSIM chips could be killing iMessage, which obviously, isn’t ideal. While the problem isn’t anything new, it came to light thanks to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, who tweeted about the issue on his T-Mobile iPhone. Since then, we’ve seen several other T-Mobile customers, and a few from other carriers confirm they’re experiencing similar problems.
The problem with the eSIM failing and disabling iMessage or Facetime is that there’s no easy solution. According to several reports, your best bet is to head down to a T-Mobile or carrier retail store and get a new physical SIM card put in the phone. This requires transferring your number to the new SIM, which is a bit frustrating.
Some owners were able to deactivate and reactivate the eSIM, and occasionally iMessage comes back after a reboot, but that doesn’t appear to fix the problem for everyone.
For now, we’re not sure if this is an iOS 15 problem or a carrier problem. But, given we’re seeing it on multiple carriers, it’s likely the former. And while Apple does have a few support pages for dual SIM and eSIM issues, it doesn’t touch on this situation.
So, if your iMessage and Facetime recently got deactivated for no reason and you can’t send messages, head down to a retail store and get a new physical SIM card. We’ll report back if we learn more.