So many times, I'll call someone (iPhone to iPhone) and the iPhone will ring once, but goes to voice mail immediately about halfway through the ring.

What are the possibilities? I'm assuming the phone is dead could be one, but I know that's not the case. Maybe they could also be on the phone?

Then I'll call 10 minutes later after they text me back saying "whats up," and it rings normally. I figure they must have been on the phone? But I thought it normally gives them a choice whether to drop the current call or not, so maybe that'd take more time than half a ring?

I called 3 times, and all 3 times it rang half a ring, and went to voicemail.

  • I've tried to start an answer, but if you want to make a "list of reasons" - it would be best to start an answer and indicate it's wiki to encourage others to edit it. That wiki part isn't needed as the system will fix a wiki style answer automagically when enough users contribute reasons...
    – bmike
    Jan 12, 2016 at 1:57

4 Answers 4


Half a ring means that the phone received the call, but instantly declined it. I've only seen this behaviour with the caller blacklist, or the do not disturb mode ☽... In your case, as the person you called seen your call, it means that it's the do not disturb mode that caused this

  • phone dead (although I think that's 0 rings)
  • phone off
  • they're on the phone right now
  • rejected the call (although it would ring different frequencies)
  • weak or no signal
  • iPhone is on do not disturb
  • why community wiki ?
    – WayToDoor
    Dec 14, 2016 at 17:57

If calls to your device are not ringing, it means that your cellular carrier had difficulty getting the call to your handset before the central office diverted the call to voicemail.

The voicemail happens server side, so you would contact your carrier to get into why calls are being placed but not arriving at your device in time to answer them.

If the calls you place are having issues, it's either the user has a do not disturb set server side or has really quick reflexes to send the call to voicemail. No proper network sends a call to voicemail in less than 3 rings in my experience. I could be wrong on that, but those are the things to rule out first.


If its going straight to voice mail its normal off OR he's on the other line. If it rings a couple times he's forwarding ur call. If it rings ur 4 times he's probably buzzy and if it rings like 7 or 8 times that's ify, it could mean his cells off, of possibly he's on the other line or the carrier on his side maybe could have a problem

  • Do you have any source?
    – JMY1000
    Jan 1, 2018 at 1:50

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