Posted by: Ole | September 30, 2007

iPhone SMS trouble

Having had an iPhone for some time now, one thing in particular is really starting to irritate me.

Whenever I receive am SMS with an alphanumeric sender address, my iPhone’s SMS-app crashes, and I am unable to read any of my messages.

The only way to solve it, is to go in with iBrickr, download the sms.db file from the iPhone that contains the messages, open it using SqLite and delete the message with alphanumeric sender.

What really sucks, is that a lot of telco’s in europe uses alphanumeric senders, and so do we at ZYB. We therefore decided to investigate it a bit and found that the handling of these senders are definitely screwed up in the iPhone. Here’s our findings:

Sending an SMS with “ZYB” as sender; The app crashes.

Sending an SMS with “zyb” as sender; The messages never appears.

Sending an SMS with “ole” as sender; The message appears, but is from “ov”.

Sending an SMS with “abc” as sender; The message never appears.

Also, it’s interesting to notice, that if we send a message to the iPhone, and declare the TON, type of number, to be alphanumeric, but set it to be a mobile number, the iPhone looks the number up in the address book, and writes the name it found. Something it should not do for an alphanumeric sender, and maybe something that could lead to an explanation.

I can only hope that this “little” bug is resolved asap by the guys at Apple. Until then, we at ZYB will stop sending messages with alphanumeric senders to US numbers…



  1. […] chaps at Zyb emailed about my post on Zyb sending SMSs that crash the iPhone SMS app. The Zyb team did some investigation and found out that SMS senders with “alaphanumeric characters” cause problems for the […]

  2. I have another problem with SMS. I am unable to reply to a message as the keyboard does not show up when I tap on message bar next to SEND at the bottom of the screen.
    Another issue is that my SPACE, RETURN and NUMERIC buttons are not working when I create a new Message.

  3. #
    Francis said,

    on September 22nd, 2007 at 1:01 am

    You can use the following command at command prompt to open the sms.db using the sqlite. Put the Sqlite.exe and sms.db in the same folder and then open the command prompt and go to the folder.

    after that consider now both the files are in C:\

    in cmd prompt go to C:\

    C:\sqlite3 sms.db

    and press enter


    sqlite> select * from message;

    and press enter

    it will show all your messages.

    to delete the junk message. Look for the row number on the message list you got above after the select number and type this

    sqlite> delete from message where rowid=;

    thats all it will delete and it worked fine for me.


  4. Which firmware version are you using for your tests? I found the same issue with 1.0.2. Version 1.1.1 partially solves it, but still not satisfactoryly.

  5. I’ve only had the chance to test it with 1.0.2, and I was hoping and praying that Apple would have solved it in 1.1.1.. Apparently, it isn’t so.

    It seems we can blame this one on the status SMS has in the states. I can only hope that it’ll be solved asap as soon as the phone is officially launched in SMS’ing Europe.

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