Facetime/iMessage sends an international sms

Facetime and iMessages send international sms for it to be activated.

I stumbled on this minor hiccup while browsing my mobile postpaid bill.  It reflected a single international sms sent to a country code, in my case UK. Look.


Wondering where it came from and afraid I might incur more charges, I called on my service provider. They promised to call me back as soon as they’ve found an answer. Googling about the topic brought me to Apple’s support forum, which discusses exactly about that “mysterious” international number. I also went to my service provider’s site and found out about it also.

Here’s what iPhon/iPad users should know.

For first time iMessage and Facetime users, your device must send an international message to Apple as part of the registration process. That’s going to appear on your postpaid bill or be deducted from your prepaid credit.


I’ve read it here that this applies every time you de-activate and re-activate FaceTime/iMessage on your iPhone/iPad. But my telco called me back and said that this is a one time registration sms only.

Here’s a temporary “fix’ you can do:

As a  preventive measure I turned off my Facetime and iMessages temporarily until I can be sure of the one time activation only international sms.  To turn off iMessage got to your Settings >iMessages and turn (gray) the slider off.