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Someone in my contacts list that used to have an iPhone has switched to a non-Apple phone, but still has a MacBook. So I want to be able to send this person messages using both iMessage and SMS.

To facilitate this, I split their contact in the Contacts app into two: one that contained the email address of their Apple ID, and the other that contained their phone number. This person has also removed their phone number from their Apple ID.

On my macs running macOS 10.14.6, the Messages app allows me to open two conversations, one for each contact, and this lets me choose whether I'm sending using SMS or iMessage.

However my iPhone 7 running iOS 15 will not let me do this! Every time I try to open a new conversation using either of the two contacts, it always takes me back to the old one, and it makes it impossible for me to choose between iMessage or SMS. Which one it allows me to send is arbitrary, and the behavior changes from day to day.

Is there any way I can fix this? It's important I be able to send this person messages using SMS when they're not at their computer.

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  • Possible duplicate of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/118922/…
    – 2br-2b
    May 1 at 21:16
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    That question is related but asking something different, which I would summarize as: "Why does iOS switch between SMS and iMessage at random for a single contact when it should just use iMessage all the time?" This question is about trying to split a contact into two so that both iMessage or SMS can each be used deliberately.
    – Bri Bri
    May 9 at 13:59

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Unfortunately, speaking from experience, there is no way to do this. Apple is doing this to try to make everyone use their apps and platforms.

You could use a Google Voice number or some other method to send him SMS while using iMessage when he's at his computer, but there's no supported method besides this. You could also use some other messaging app like Signal to message him on both his phone and laptop.

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