A new investigation this week by MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed that Apple iPhone users could be charged more on their bills, simply for being grammatically correct in their text messages.
A bug in Apple’s iOS 11 operating system is causing SMS messages (NOT iMessage) to shoot up in character counts, simply by entering an apostrophe.
Users are reporting that they are seeing the character count being slashed from 160 to 70, simply by adding an apostrophe in a SMS message.
As a result, users may notice that they’re being charged for sending two texts rather than just one.
“Customers are being charged more money for being grammatically correct when sending text messages – for example, if you use the apostrophe in ‘it’s’, it will reduce the character allowances. This has caught me out several times.” explained MoneySaver user David who first flagged the issue on the website run by Martin Lewis.
The problem is also exacerbate by the iPhone itself, which would naturally autocorrect most punctuation to correct any grammatical inaccuracies whilst you’re typing.
So even if you actively avoid using an apostrophe, you’re still likely to be hit by the issue.
According to the report, MoneySavingExpert checked with Apple to discover the root of the problem and were told that this is a known issues with the devices ‘Smart Punctuation’ feature.
For anyone curious, the Smart Punctuation feature is turned on by default, and swaps certain forms of punctuation with other forms that may be more suitable when texting. However, as a result of the bug, you’re more likely to send twice as many texts.
The only upshot is that most mobile phone contracts come with massive text message allowances. But as MoneySavingExpert warns, this could still cause serious money problems for certain individuals.
“If you’re on pay-as-you-go, say, or out of your allowance abroad, you could notice the pennies racking up (for example if you’re in Chile on EE you’d typically pay 60p per text).”
Whilst Apple says it’s aware of the bug and promise to correct it in the next iOS update – 11.2.5 – there’s no release date for when this could arrive.
In the meantime you’re best bet to avoid being hit by the bug is to turn of the Smart Punctuation feature (Settings > General > Keyboards, and then turning ‘Smart Punctuation’ off) or turn on the character counter to help you see exactly how many texts you’re sending.
The news follows reports that the most expensive iPhone released to date, the iPhone X, could be getting a little bit cheaper.
The iPhone X – Apple’s newest smartphone – was a massive step up from the iterative iPhone 8 and offers some of the biggest smartphone changes in recent years for the company.
But with that huge £999 price tag, it’s suggested the device may not be selling that well in Asian markets or even the US.
That’s according to a report from DigiTimes that suggests Apple is noticing the lack of demand in some extremely important markets, and the company is therefore keen to do what it can to drive sales.
The report doesn’t detail just how much the handset might come down by, but it does also mention that the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus may also see discounts in the coming year.
And this wouldn’t be the first time it’s been suggested that Apple drop the price of its flagship phone. Last year, analysts called on the company to drop prices to help shift more units.
According to a Bloomberg report speaking to analysts at JL Warren Capital, Apple is seeing “weak demand because of the iPhone X’s high price point”.