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311 posts

Ultimate Geek

#196497 2-Jun-2016 11:31
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I'm wondering if there is anyone from Spark who can help me with another one of these dreaded iMessage activation issues?


My 13 yr old son has just moved from an iPhone 4 to a 5s using his hard earned savings and iMessage is failing to activate when it was working on the iPhone 4 using the same number.


There is no change in SIM, carrier or number porting involved, just a swap from the 4 to a 5s.


The 5s came 'refurbished' from 1day.


After a couple of hours on the phone to Apple Care last night, it was discovered that the new phones 'activation policy' was USA and locked to a US carrier, which may have been causing the activation problems.


The new phone has mobile data working on Spark and can send and receive SMS messages.  Also have it connected to Wi-Fi.


The Apple Care rep suggested that we restore the phone using iTunes and choose to set up as a new phone.  He advised that the 'next activation policy' was showing as 'unlocked' so following this procedure should fix the activation issue.  We tried it and sure enough, iTunes popped up with a message at the end of the restore stating 'iPhone unlocked' or something to that effect.  It also told me there was a carrier update available which I said yes to updating.


After going through the initial new phone setup, we tried turning iMessage on, got waiting for activation, then activation failed again.  I have also read that activation can take 24 hours, but I'm not sure if we now need to wait 24 hrs after 'unlocking' the phone or if we should be good to go now.


I understand from reading previous threads that there is an international SMS involved in iMessage activation and I'm wondering if someone from Spark can check for me if the SMS is being sent from the phone and if a reply is being received?  (I can PM mobile number).


Any other advice on previous experiences or how this all pieces together would be appreciated.











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160 posts

Master Geek

  #1564133 2-Jun-2016 11:51
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You don't need Spark to tell you if the SMS is being sent - check your charges. You will be billed for international SMS if it is going out. Unsure about incoming though.


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477 posts

Ultimate Geek

ID Verified

  #1564180 2-Jun-2016 12:23
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IIRC iMessage sends an international text (Usually to a +44 number) to activate


One issue I could see is he doesn't have the credit to send the SMS so the activation gets stuck when trying to activate with his number.


Also would suggest making sure the Phone number under Settings -> General -> My Number is correct


I would also suggest trying to take out the sim and activating iMessage with just an email to see if this works. I had a similar issue with activating iMessage when I swapped sim cards in the states on Holiday and ended up following these instructions which fixed it -



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311 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1564755 3-Jun-2016 09:07
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Thanks for your suggestions.


Spark have looked at the records and cannot see an international SMS being sent.  I'm wondering if activating iMessage always tries to send an SMS or if there is another activation method it uses in different circumstances.


They have also confirmed there is credit available (It is an on account plan) and no blocks that would stop an international SMS from being sent.  


On the support call with Apple last night the rep confirmed the phone is now "unlocked" and that iMessage should activate within 24 hours, so now we wait.








311 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1568642 9-Jun-2016 13:00
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Well, here we are after one week and 4 Apple support calls and it still won't activate iMessage.


Is there a helpful Spark staff member on here that could possibly have a quick look for me?





331 posts

Ultimate Geek

Spark NZ

  #1568646 9-Jun-2016 13:05
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Hi Nigel please PM your details inc number.  Will see what I can do.

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