If you’re on the Apple ecosystem, you definitely use iMessage. And if you do so on the Safaricom network, you’ve likely noticed that reactivating iMessage can be a lengthy ordeal. Whether it’s due to traveling, SIM card removal, or other reasons, getting iMessage reactivated on a Safaricom line is often a prolonged wait. It may take anywhere from a day to a week, or sometimes, it may never reactivate. In stark contrast, for Airtel customers, this process typically takes less than three minutes.

The difference in activation times between Safaricom and Airtel is striking, especially given the integral role of iMessage in the Apple ecosystem. For the uninitiated, iMessage is a service exclusive to Apple devices, allowing users to send encrypted texts, photos, videos, and more to fellow iMessage users. Its popularity is rooted in its encryption and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem.

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However, the process of signing up for iMessage is not as straightforward for Safaricom users. While users with an email address linked to their Apple ID can automatically send iMessages, using a phone number requires additional verification from Apple. This process is akin to verifying a phone number when signing up for WhatsApp and should ideally occur in the background. Users may receive a prompt to activate iMessage with the installed SIM card. Once they agree, the network provider – in this case, Safaricom – sends a message to Apple to facilitate this process.

The experience is markedly different for Airtel users, where the process is swift and efficient, taking just a minute or two. Conversely, Safaricom users often face an inexplicably long wait, sometimes extending to a week, with no clear explanation from either Apple or Safaricom. There are no known issues or reasons provided for this delay.

For successful activation, certain prerequisites must be met, such as having mobile data or WiFi and the ability to send messages, which means having airtime or a calling/SMS plan. Yet, even when these conditions are fulfilled, Safaricom numbers seem to face an inordinate delay in getting activated on iMessage.

This issue raises several questions for Safaricom users reliant on iMessage. What are the underlying causes of these delays? Are there any workarounds that users have discovered? If you’re experiencing similar issues, sharing your workaround could provide valuable insights for others facing this frustrating delay.



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