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iPhone SMS error bug won't go away

Apple still not getting the message?

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Updated Some users of Apple's iPhone are still reporting problems sending SMS messages with no fix in sight, despite both Apple and O2 being aware of the issue for more than a month.

The problem comes with the upgrade to software version 2.2. Some users have reported it surfacing well after installing the upgrade, but once it manifests there seems no way to fix the error that pops up every time an SMS message is sent, despite reboots, resets and reconfigurations.

Given the lack of official support, sufferers have congregated on the Apple and O2 forums to swap ideas, with some reporting that a fix can be obtained by swapping SIMs, though not in every instance. Those contacting Apple are being told that a fix is in the works, while those speaking to O2 are just being told that this explains the problems they've been having with Visual Voicemail too.

We contacted both O2 and Apple, but neither company was interested in commenting on the problem.

SMS is, of course, less popular in the USA, so it's possible that a lack of focus on the functionality let a bug of this kind emerge - it's hard to imagine a Nokia handset failing to send SMS messages when so many European customers consider messaging more important than voice.

But this bug isn't affecting the majority of iPhone users, who are happily texting each other without any problems, and with a small sample size it becomes difficult to track down the exact circumstances that cause the bug to manifest - a necessary step towards fixing the problem.

What is harder to forgive is the lack of information from the companies involved, both to the afflicted users and the media covering the problem. It seems that Apple is just assuming that the minority of users afflicted will wait for a fix, or just disappear, while the problem gets no official recognition at all. ®

Update: it seems that while we were waiting for a response from Apple they went ahead and issued a fix: we've confirmed that firmware version 2.2.1 removes this particular bug, and while we'd love to claim that it was issued in response to our inquiry yesterday it seems that Apple do deserve credit for fixing this one - eventually.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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