An iPhone and iPad are both:

  • outfitted with a T-Mobile SIM card + Data
  • configured with the same AppleID and
  • presumably this ID is one's iMessage ID.
  • IOS 12.X

As I understand it:

  • Blue Messages are encrypted iMessages
  • Green messages are unencrypted MMS / SMS


iPad message app indicates:

  • iMessages are successful sent / received from and iPad's message app.
  • iMessages are synced to iPhone
  • green SMS / MMS fail to send: indication = "Not Delivered"


  • iMessages /SMS / MMS function as expected

Goal = send SMS / MMS from the iPad.

Any diagnostic question, posted as a comment, is appreciated. Actionable guidance is sought.

  • First thoughts would be iPad has no SIM… but, neither does my Mac & yet that can send & receive regular SMS & MMS. I can't test my iPad as I quite specifically don't have it signed into messages, but both Mac & iPhone have phone number & icloud email address as 'can be reached at'.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 13:04
  • Are you trying to send images via mms, or simply text ?
    – anki
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 13:05
  • @ankii Yes, text message (SMS) fails.
    – gatorback
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 16:54
  • Do you have an appropriate pack that your carrier offers with allows you to send sms ?
    – anki
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 6:40
  • The iPad technically has a SIM with its own phone number, however, the iPad does not function as conventional cellular phone (unfortunately).
    – gatorback
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 9:34

2 Answers 2


Do you have text message forwarding enabled on your iPhone and iPad? If you go into the Messages settings on your iPhone, you will see some settings that you will need to enable in order to send SMS/MMS. Your iMessages are working because that only requires an Apple ID but you need to allow your iPad to send SMS/MMS via your cellular account from your iPhone. Good luck!

  • A link to a screen shot for IOS 12.X would be very helpful. Thanks
    – gatorback
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 9:35
  • 1
    I had the same issue as OP here, turns out you need to enable forwarding from iphone in order for messages to send over, even if you have imessage enabled on both devices on the same icloud account. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 17:06
  • @gatorback I am so sorry, I don't have a device running iOS 12. All of mine are on iOS 13!
    – Todd
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 2:53
  • @Todd, my iPad is the older model and does not run IOS 13
    – gatorback
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 15:44
  • @gatorback Unfortunatley all my devices support iOS 13 and are running it.
    – Todd
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 6:28

Your iMac does not actually send SMS/MMS messages; your iPhone does. Your iMac is utilizing a feature called Continuity.

One of the requirements for continuity is that your device and the iPhone both be on the same WiFi network. Why your iPhone specifically? Well, SMS/MMS messages can only be sent over the cellular voice network (it’s not a protocol found on the cellular data network). Your iPad is data only and doesn’t have a messaging plan attached to it.

What you’re probably find is that:

  • iMessage, will use the most efficient network to send a message; if the recipient is using another Apple device, it will go iMessage
  • If your iPhone and iPad are on the same WiFi network, you’re probably using your phone for messaging anyway
  • Since your iPad has two data connections - cellular and WiFi, one way or another it’s going to find a way to connect to the iMessage server before resorting to SMS.

If you want to force sending via SMS, you’ll need both devices on the signed into the same iCloud account, the iPad cell data disabled, and text message forwarding enabled to “trick” it into sending SMS via the iPhone.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response, can reader replace iMac with iPad? Does iPad use continuity to send the SMS message through the iPhone and how to configure? Please respond through updating your answer above
    – gatorback
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 9:50

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