Delivery Report for Text Messages: Simple Guide

Sep 25, 2019
Delivery Report for Text Messages

People use text messaging every day for various purposes. With around 23 billion SMS messages sent each day, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people are commonly unaware of. End users rarely get a delivery report for text messages, although the feature can be enabled on certain mobile operating systems.

In this article, we are going to cover all the bases of SMS delivery so that you can fully grasp what an SMS delivery report is as well as how it is technically carried out.

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What is a Delivery Report for Text Messages?

So what is SMS delivery report? Delivery report is the message from an SMCS (Short Message Service Center) that notifies you that your SMS message sent from your device was delivered to the intended recipient. In other words, an SMS delivery report shows the current status of the text messages that you submitted to the carrier.

Contrary to popular belief, text delivery reports do not actually mean that a text message sent by you was successfully delivered to the recipient—rather, it just confirms that the message was sent successfully from the device.

When a text message is sent from your device, it is first received by your SMS server (SMSC). The server stores and retains the message until it attempts to deliver it. The text message will then either be successfully delivered or experience a failure of some sort.

Generally speaking, while there are multitudes of SMS error and failure codes, text message delivery reports fall into one of these five categories:

  1. With Carrier: SMS was submitted to your carrier, however, they are yet to return a response.
  2. Rejected (soft bounce): Recipient number is unreachable at that point.
  3. Rejected (hard bounce): The recipient number is invalid or no longer exists.
  4. Delivery Status Unknown: Carrier has attempted to deliver the message but cannot confirm if it has done so successfully.
  5. Successful Delivery: Carrier can confirm that the recipient has successfully received the message with an acknowledged DLR (delivery receipt).

Delivery Report Android

Android phones have a feature that upon enabling allows you to check whether a text message you sent was delivered to the recipient. The feature is turned off by default, so if you want to get SMS delivery reports on Android, you have to turn it on manually.

To enable delivery report on Android go to Settings > Text Message (SMS) Settings and turn on the Delivery Reports option. From that point on, your Android device will start receiving delivery reports for SMS messages, notifying you of the current state status of the text message.

iPhone SMS Delivery Report

SMS delivery report for iPhone is a feature that is not supported by Apple for the standard SMS feature. However, since iOS devices have their own messaging system in iMessage, iPhones can receive SMS delivery reports for text messages sent through their iCloud-based messaging system.

Standard SMS delivery reports were supported neither by iOS 7 nor iOS 8, and that is not expected to change even with later versions of the OS. Not only is there no option to turn SMS delivery report on iPhone but also there are no third-party apps that support this feature on iOS devices either, simply because Apple does not allow it.

Message Delivery Notification and Status

Message delivery notifications inform you of the text message delivery status. If the text messages were delivered to the recipient successfully, you will receive an SMS delivery confirmation.

SMS Delivery Report App

As discussed earlier, Apple does not allow SMS delivery reports, thus there are no third-party apps that support this feature. Android, on the other hand, has this feature available on its platform that can be turned on manually.

However, there are still some SMS delivery report apps that you can download on your Android device and use independently. Here are two of them:

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