Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2012 5:37 PM by TigerKR
chattphotos Level 4 (2,220 points)

I have an iPhone 4 (CDMA) off contract, but connected to wifi so internet is not an issue. Just updated to iOS 5 and iMessage is still waiting for activation.

Facetime activated with my email, but iMessage is not activating on my AppleID or my .me account

I see many people are also commenting on this... is this a known Apple issue? (aka is iMessage not ready?)

  • Aditya Yadav Level 1 (5 points)

    I had the same problem on my GSM iPhone 4. After 48 hours of failed attempts and googling, I found the solution.


    Here's how to fix it.


    1) Download iOS 5.0

    2) Put your iPhone in DFU Mode (Google it, you'll find out)

    3) Restore as a new iPhone, don't use backup.

    4) Voila! iMessage and Facetime will be activated.

  • AHal10 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same issue here on my 3GS.


    I've restored many times, including in DFU mode, with no luck.


    Just says "waitinf for activation" - I can use an email, but not my phone number. I want to send/receive from my phone number.


    Others with the same phone and carrier do not have any issues.. any help is appreciated.



  • edo320 Level 1 (5 points)

    hey..actually i have same problem 2 days ago n yesterday my imessage finaly worked..

    in my case i use another sim card/not original bundling,then i use my original sim card/carrier, n it instanly worked..

    so actually carrier does take the problem..

    im sory my english is terrible bad,im from indonesia..thank you

  • Roberto Avanzi Level 1 (20 points)

    I had the following problem: If I change SIM, facetime and imessage do NOT activate on the new number and still show the old one. In your case, since you are on CDMA, you do not have SIMs.


    What I did was the following.


    To be done just once:


    Go to Settings -> Mail, contacts, calendars -> My info, select your own card.


    To be done every time you change the sim (in your case it is not necessary, and it should be a one time thing).


    Go to address book, make sure the current phone number is the ONLY one that is marked "iPhone"


    (Deactivate/reactivate FaceTime and iMessage)


    After a short while, facetime and imessage should be activated with the NEW number


    NO "erase all settings" required, NO reboot.


    Note that I did this with official carriers and also non-official carriers (all with a factory unlocked iPhone). I can now reproduce this on a regular basis swapping SIM cards ad libitum. It may work for you just with the address book and mail/contacts/calendars steps.



  • Roberto Avanzi Level 1 (20 points)

    DFU mode and restore as new phone are horrible things, you lose all the data...

  • jfaughnan Level 3 (785 points)

    Same story here with my son's iPhone, which he uses as an iPod touch. iMessage won't activate. I suspect it needs a SIM.

  • chattphotos Level 4 (2,220 points)



    It's either a works great or not at all kind of thing. But I see a future in iMessage (its like BBM on steriods)


    To update on my iPhone-off contract, even though it says iMessage is waiting for activation, I can still iMessage my friend in Australia (and I am in the USA) So I don't know how it's working, but it's working great!


    Also, another one of my USA friends has an iPod touch with iMessage. It is working flawlessly!

  • jfaughnan Level 3 (785 points)

    Thanks, that helps! So it seems possible that Apple will (or even intends to) support SIM-less iPhone as iPod Touch equivalents.


    I think the first night I tried this he was able to send a receive with "waiting for activation", but now it fails.


    If it is a bug currently, I wonder if it's an iCloud identity bug. In the case of my son


    1. I migrated his account from our MobileMe family account to iCloud.

    2. His Store ID is my ( AppleID but his iCloud ID is his email.


    Anyway, you've given me some hope.


    I have, of course, tried various experiments with adding/removing his iCloud credentials from the phone, adding/removing his secondary Google accounts, specifying his Contact Card as "him", changing Location, etc, etc. I think I've run the gamut short of wiping the phone and restoring from backup (bit of a pain to do that).


    I may try putting my SIM in his phone, seeing if I can activate, then pull the SIM.


    So now I'm waiting.

  • jfaughnan Level 3 (785 points)

    Tonight his Message settings still show "waiting for activation" but he is able to send and receive iMessages.

  • NFH. Level 1 (15 points)

    I had exactly this problem yesterday, both on my iPhone 4 (which had been working on iMessage for months) and on my wife's iPhone 3GS. I spent an hour on the phone to Apple support, but they couldn’t fix it. All they could suggest was an appointment at an Apple store. However, I managed to fix it on both iPhones by using Google's DNS server,


    Using my own proxy server, I found the servers that the iPhone connects to when activating iMessage. There are several, but two of them are deployed regionally with the same hostname but multiple IP addresses (and consequently multiple servers). I am in the UK and when I do DNS lookups, I get the following results: from a UK DNS server from Google's US DNS server at from a UK DNS server from Google's US DNS server at


    The regional differences in DNS resolution are because Apple uses Akamai Technologies to deploy local points of presence, which is intended to reduce latency and intercontinental bandwidth. Therefore your iPhone does a DNS lookup on the hostname and a regional IP address is returned. UK DNS servers return the above 82.96.58.* addresses in Sweden; Google's US DNS server returns the above servers in the US, which I am guessing are Apple's primary iMessage servers. The Swedish iMessage servers seem to be deficient in some way, which is why you sometimes get this problem when activating iMessage outside the US.


    After changing the DNS for your wifi connection to, you may need to restart your iPhone before trying to switch on iMessage again, as restarting will flush the iPhone's DNS cache. Otherwise your iPhone will retain the previous DNS mapping to regional Apple servers rather than to the more reliable primary Apple servers in the US.

  • chosenoneaa Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, so I have a question.  I am doing an experiment.  How many people on this thread that are having iMessage and Facetime problems with CDMA iPhones have a phone number with 4 consecutive zeros? (for instance: 710-0006)

  • chosenoneaa Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, so I have a question.  I am doing an experiment.  How many people on this thread that are having iMessage and Facetime problems with CDMA iPhones have a phone number with 4 consecutive zeros? (for instance: 710-0006)

  • Angelscj Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same problem with 4 consecutive Zero. Phone has not worked with iMessage with my phone number since its purchase back in Oct 2011.

  • chosenoneaa Level 1 (0 points)

    Me too. And I bet as other people see it they will have the same problem.

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