Fixing the Iphone Contacts Issue


While the Iphone has been often touted as a premium brand, there are number of problems that have plagued the crown jewel of the Cupertino based company. A lot of these problems are however software related.

IOS 9.3.2 brought with it a number of fixes for some of the problems listed below:

  • Fixes an issue where some Bluetooth accessories could experience audio quality issues when paired to the iPhone SE
  • Fixes an issue where looking up dictionary definitions could fail
  • Addresses an issue that prevented typing email addresses when using the Japanese Kana keyboard in Mail and Messages
  • Fixes an issue for VoiceOver users using the Alex voice, where the device switches to a different voice to announce punctuation or spaces
  • Fixes an issue that prevented MDM servers from installing Custom B2B apps


This article seeks to deal with one of such problems facing the average Iphone user in Ghana (West Africa): the unknown contact notification while receiving text or contacts already saved. The test device is an Iphone 6 running ios 9.3.2 on Ghana’s MTN network.

Our investigations on this matter reveals that the actual problem is the way the networks seem to broadcast the Phone numbers during calls; for Ghana a prefix of +233 is sometimes visible and other times it is not. The real trick to solving this is to double save the numbers with one having the prefix for the country you are in and the other not. For example a contact number saved as 024-XXXXXXX should/would be saved additionally as +233-24-XXXXXXX. this allows the iphone to pick out the contact number from the contacts list no matter how the name is broadcast.

For people with an iphone who have a google account this process is simpler. The easiest way to do this is to go to google contacts. find “More” and export your contacts as comma-separated values (CSV) or as Variant Call Format (VCF) then import these to icloud or directly to your iphone using itunes.

Because Apple activates iphones usually using international prefixes we recommend that

  1. Icloud/Iphone—Will have the international Country prefix (+233-24-XXXXXXX) in our case) to the imported numbers.
  2. Google Contacts- Will have the normal number storage format (024-XXXXXXX)

For the iphone user a convenient app to use is Contact Fixer by Rubicon which can be add a prefix to numbers or take away a number of digits for contacts in batches. (Review will be posted later).

Before using the Contact Fixer App we recommend deleting your gmail account and contact sync from the iphone as Contact Fixer doesnt yet have the ability to fix contacts in groups.

Hope this helps anyone who had the problem of text messages or calls not showing contact names during incoming transmissions.