Adam Pash, former lead editor of Lifehacker, reports that Apple has acknowledged a problem we’ve heard reported before: text messages continue to be converted to iMessages and forwarded to an Apple ID even when that ID is no longer in use. This means that any text messages sent from an iPhone are reported as delivered while actually disappearing into the ether.

[The AppleCare rep] explained:

  1. This is a problem a lot of people are facing.
  2. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
  3. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat …

For Pash, the problem began when he switched from an iPhone to an Android handset. When his friends texted him, they received a ‘Delivered’ flag while no text message arrived on his new phone….or anywhere else.

When you add a contact and place their phone number in the iPhone field, the Messages app converts what would otherwise be a text message into an iMessage. While this typically saves money for anyone paying per text message, it can result in lost messages when someone stops using the associated Apple ID.

Apple suggested that he ask all his contacts to remove him as a contact and re-add him, selecting Mobile rather than iPhone as the field for his telephone number, a solution that would require contacting everyone who has him listed in their iPhone.

We’ve asked Apple to comment and will report back on any response.