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Developer Claims Apple Blocking Push Notifications On Unlocked iPhones

July 13, 2009


PoweryBase, the developer of push-enabled NotifyMe, has pointed us to a post on their blog that may explain why some of you aren't receiving push notifications on your unlocked iPhones. According to PoweryBase, push-enabled iPhone apps contact Apple's servers to request an ID to establish a connection, but if you are using an non-official wireless carrier, the connection can't be made:
"When the Push based application such as NotifyMe requests an ID from APNS, the server responds within a second and identifies the device with the unique token. From that point, the connection between APNS and user's device is successfully established," said Pavel Serbajlo, PoweryBase's lead developer. "However, on a unofficially activated device, APNS keeps the application wait forever and does not provide any respond at all, keeping user wait infinitely or time out the connection, if the target application is capable of timing out."
The reason PoweryBase decided to bring this issue to light is that they have been receiving an extraordinarily large amount of complaints from their users claiming that they aren't receiving push notifications.  Not so surprisingly, their database statistics show about five precent of their users are using unlocked iPhone users, and that five percent has generated more than 80 percent of their customer support requests. At this time PoweryBase is recommending users who use unlocked iPhones on non-official carriers not to purchase NotifyMe or any other push-enabled app since the issue is out of their control. Apparently this hasn't slipped by the iPhone Dev-Team either, as they had stated about two weeks ago that they are investigating the issue. Are any of you having push notification issues with unlocked iPhones on non-official carriers? UPDATE: As the story goes, unlocked phones are not being affected.  Apparently the issue deals with "hacktivated" phones.  Hacktivating is employed when a user must bypass Apple's server check because the user doesn't have a valid carrier SIM card.  The confusion may stem from the fact that hacktivated phones have to be unlocked yet to get a signal, so in theory this issue would still affect unlocked phones.  The moral of the story is that Apple isn't blocking anything at all, it's that hacktivated phones don't get the necessary token needed to receive push notifications because they weren't activated through iTunes with a valid SIM card. Those that are experiencing this push issue can restore their iPhones and use a valid AT&T (or the carrier your phone is locked to) SIM to activate in iTunes.  After activation a jailbreak and unlock can be done. AppAwards week is well under way!  We must keep fulfilling our promise to offer a chance to win a free download code for every news post, so how fitting is it that we have a NotifyMe code for you?  To win a download code for NotifyMe, simply leave a relevant comment regarding this post or NotifyMe itself below. The winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the day today. Please remember to include your email address so we can contact the winner.

Mentioned apps

NotifyMe for iPhone
NotifyMe for iPhone
PoweryBase Inc.

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