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iPhone 14 release date debuts with iMessage and FaceTime issues – here’s how to fix them

Updated Jan 3rd, 2023 4:04PM EST
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus variants review
Image: Apple

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The iPhone 14 series started shipping on Friday around the world. The markets part of Apple’s first launch waves will also let buyers purchase one of the three new iPhone 14 models in stores on Friday — the Plus variant only ships in a few weeks. But the iPhone 14 release date also brings iMessage and FaceTime issues.

Customers setting up their new iPhone 14 flavors might run into problems with the two popular services. Luckily, Apple is aware of the activation problems and has a fix that iPhone 14 buyers can use immediately.

The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the three new iPhones shipping on Friday. Regardless of the model you’ve just purchased, you must go through the same setup process.

Current iPhone users who are upgrading their handsets already know what that entails. You’re practically moving the entire contents of the old phone to the new one.

Consumers who purchased their first iPhone will go through the first iPhone setup. They might have to move data over from an Android phone or start from scratch.

You’ll experience the same iPhone 14 setup process regardless of the method. That involves activating the phone and signing into your Apple ID. And that’s also when you activate iMessage and FaceTime.

The iPhone 14 Pro's new notch: Dyanmic Island.
The iPhone 14 Pro’s new notch: Dynamic Island. Image source: Apple Inc.

During this process, you might encounter iMessage and FaceTime activation issues. Apple has posted a support document that acknowledges the problems.

  • Here are the potential issues you might experience on iPhone 14 phones:
  • You can’t receive iMessages or FaceTime calls.
  • You see a green message bubble instead of a blue one when you send a message to another Apple device.
  • Conversations in Messages show up as two separate threads, instead of one.
  • Recipients see your messages coming from the wrong account, for example from your email address if you had selected your phone number.

The fix is upgrading the software right away. iPhone 14 models ship with iOS 16.0 right out of the box. But Apple rolled out a software update in time for the phone’s release date. You’re looking at iOS 16.0.1, which should fix the iMessage and FaceTime activation issues.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus color options.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus color options. Image source: Apple Inc.

Some iPhone 14 owners might continue having iMessage and FaceTime issues even after the iOS 16.0.1 update. If that’s the case, you should follow these instructions from the same Apple support document:

  • In the Settings app, tap Cellular. Make sure that your phone line is turned on.
  • If you use multiple SIMs, make sure that the phone number you want to use is selected and turned on.
  • In the Settings app, tap Messages. Then tap Send & Receive.
  • Tap the phone number that you want to use with Messages.
  • Go back in the Settings app, and tap FaceTime.
  • Tap the phone number that you want to use with FaceTime.

You might need to improvise if you still encounter issues after performing these fixes. You can restart the phone or restart the setup process. If iMessages and FaceTime still fail to work correctly on iPhone 14, you should reach out to Apple support.

Finally, the issues appear to be exclusive to the iPhone 14 series. Buying any of the older iPhone models that Apple sells will not lead to similar issues.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.