Best option would be to contact Vodafone, and check that international SMS is provisioned on your account.
Reason being, that when iMessage is activated, it sends an international message to the UK to activate your iMessage service.
Usually if it says Waiting for activation, International SMS is not provisioned, and it is failed to activate.
I have already raised the same to Vodafone team and the request number is 1262872630. Please check on the same.....just for your information (as mentioned by Joel) "when iMessage is activated, it sends an international message to the UK to activate your iMessage service. Usually if it says Waiting for activation, International SMS is not provisioned, and it is failed to activate. "
hey i checked my international sms is enabled.....but still doesnt work....
i went to maple service centre....they said its vodafone but dont know what it is.....vodafone has no idea about imessage service....and maple helpline says vodafone has an issue and try a airtel or aircel sim and also ask airtel or aicel to activate imessage from their end.
is this only happening with vodafone india iphone users or any other carriers as well???
iOS: Troubleshooting FaceTime and iMessage activation
iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Learn to resolve FaceTime and iMessage activation issues on iOS devices.
Activation and registration
iPhone automatically registers your phone number for use with FaceTime and iMessage during activation.
To use FaceTime with your Apple ID, navigate to Settings > FaceTime and tap Use your Apple ID for FaceTime.
To use iMessage with your Apple ID, navigate to Settings > Messages > Receive At and tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage.
When you enable FaceTime or iMessage with an iPad or iPod touch, you will need to enter a valid Apple ID and password. Other users will be able to contact you on FaceTime and iMessage using this email address.
Troubleshooting Apple ID activation
Troubleshooting telephone-number activation (iPhone only)
To sign out of your Apple ID:
Go to Settings > FaceTime, tap your Apple ID, and select Sign Out.
Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive, tap your Apple ID, and select Sign Out.
Find information about linking your phone number to an Apple ID for use with FaceTime and iMessage.
Find help with issues you may encounter when using iMessage or FaceTime behind a firewall.
Recommended Wi-Fi router and access-point settings.
Note: FaceTime may not be available in all countries or regions.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
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Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
I'm having this same issue on the 5 with iOS 6.0.2. I have tried everything from resetting network settings, resetting all settings, restoring from backup to finally erasing the phone and setting it up as a new device. I had my sim replaced as well. But nothing seems to have worked. And Vodafone is utterly clueless. Initially they were blaming Apple. Now they have indirectly acknowledged that they are at fault. Waiting for a solution asap. Or will need to switch carriers. Thankfully we do have MNP.
i got an aircel sim card....will get an airtel too(prepaid) and will test it out then.....
however it takes 48 hours with airtel and 3 days with aircel to activate......so till then im going to try the last solution on the apple troubleshooting page for imessage....i.e dont activate it for minimum 24 hours and try then.....
i personally think this should work too because when i gave my iphone 5 for repair,i didnt use imessage for 3 days.and then when i put my vodafone sim inside and tried,it worked.
so lets see....lets not end this discussion till its solved.....a lot of people abroad r also having this issue.....if it is carriers for most people then they dont know about it.....and it can be solved worldwide by apple later