updated 01:36 am EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Says problem is not widespread, but will soon issue patch to correct it
Following widespread reports of iMessage issues for some users who have upgraded to iOS 7, the company on Tuesday said it was aware of the problem and working on a fix. The official statement from the company says the problem is affecting "a fraction of a percent" of users, but with Apple's enormous mobile userbase, this amounts to millions of people even if Apple's accounting is accurate. The problem seems most likely to strike those who upgraded after the first updates.
So far, Apple has issued two iOS 7 updates to fix issues, most of which have been minor in nature. The first was only available to the newest models of iPhones, the 5s and 5c, to correct a Touch ID sensor issue; the second patched a potential security flaw in how iOS 7 handles emergency calls. The new problem, as previously reported, involves users seeing unsuccessfully sent or received iMessages, or failing to "fall back" to SMS sending when iMessage doesn't work as expected.
Most affected users have been able to fix the issue by either turning the iOS device off and on again, or resetting the iPhone's Network settings after temporarily disabling Messages. The issue seems to have come up much more frequently after users upgraded to 7.0.2, and could be more prone to happen on iOS devices that are very rarely powered down, since a simple reset appears to clear the problem most of the time.
The fixes described appear to permanently cure the flaw for most affected users, but some have reported having to apply the fixes again after continued use. Most iOS 7 users are not seeing the problem at all.
"We will have a fix available in an upcoming software update," the company said in its statement. "In the meantime, we encourage any users having problems to reference our troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare to help resolve their issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes impacted users." Apple is known to be working on a 7.0.3 update which is expected to be released to the public in the near future.