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Monday, January 28, 2008, 09:15 am PT (12:15 pm ET)

Apple details potential fix for mis-ordered iPhone SMS messages

Apple Inc. has responded to complaints from customers who say the recent iPhone 1.1.3 software update has caused their handsets to display text messages out of the order in which they were sent or received.

A lengthy Apple Support discussion thread with over 11,000 views and 200 replies has been active on the matter since the firmware update was first made available to iPhone owners following Steve Jobs's Macworld keynote on January 15th.

"Ever since the 1.1.3 update for the iPhone the SMS application seems to be disordering text messages if you exit and then return to the [SMS] application," one AppleInsider reader explained in an email.

Although the vast majority of affected users appear to be using iPhones on O2's wireless network in the UK, the ongoing discussion thread suggests the problem is not limited to a specific carrier.

For its part, Apple last week posted a support article on the matter, explaining that the issue can occur if an iPhone is not displaying the same date and time setting as its carrier network.

The company advises users to make sure their iPhones are setup to receive the network time automatically from their wireless carriers. To do this, users must choose General > Date & Time and turn Set Automatically to ON.

Apple notes, however, that in some locations, network time may not be available and in some cases, users may not see this option. It also admits that the issue may persist for some users even after turning on time synching.

"The issue may be occurring because messages are being sent in quick succession (more common if the messages consist of only a few short words)," the company said.

At least one customer contacting Apple Care support over the matter was told that a definitive fix — presumably through a successive software update — was in the works.