Apple spams older iPhone owners with upgrade ads


iPhone 6s
Because who doesn't want unsolicited ads popping up on their iPhone?
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Apple is selling an enormous amount of iPhones right now, but in its efforts to get an extra holiday sales bump it’s pushing an unsolicited pop-up notification to owners of older iPhone handsets — informing them of how “ridiculously powerful” the iPhone 6s is.

IMG_2459The ad appears when users visit the App Store. It shows up on iPhones older than the iPhone 6, and does not seem tied to the new iOS 9.2 upgrade, since one reader who saw the prompt tells Cult of Mac he is still using iOS 9.1.

If users choose the “learn more” or “upgrade now” prompts, they are redirected to the relevant sections of Apple’s website or Apple Store app, where they can read more about or purchase Apple’s newest handset. To return to what they were doing, users must tap “skip.”

It will be interesting to hear people’s response to this more aggressive piece of marketing on Apple’s part. In my experience, people react less than well to intrusive advertising like this, which means this could well backfire for Apple — particularly if it makes a more regular habit of promoting products in this way.

Hell, the company was engulfed in a cloud of controversy when it gave away a free U2 album without customers explicitly requesting it — and that wasn’t even asking people to shell out money.

Thanks: Ben

  • airmanchairman

    Haha, no one’s biting so far, click-baiter-hater!

  • Von Trousers

    In other “news,” grocery stores spam you with sales banners inside the store.

  • Wavey

    Oh god it’s so intrusive. The company who made the phone I already own is asking if I want to buy a new one. If it blocked the people using the phone then it would be intrusive, you can see adverts for a new TV on your older TV you don’t see everyone writing articles about that do you? (Insert kermit drinking tea meme)

  • Kev

    I just yawned.

  • gimmesheIter

    Ok, I’ll bite if no one else does. I saw the ad, and was somewhat annoyed, for like a second. If they make a habit of it, I will probably look elsewhere for my next phone. If Apple start acting like an ad company in their OS, I might as well get my phone from a legit ad company, Google.

  • Ghaleon

    I found it annoying, but certainly nothing to be overly concerned with, unless it happens frequently.

  • Hildebrand

    A few complainers doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

  • Wesley Viana 

    I’m f*** mad about it. What rack Apple, ad when I’m trying to update. I so fanboy. Love most part of the products, but I don’t think this kind of ad ok. I’m already the kind of user that blocks ads on my phone, than that make their on ad in the App Store. Please.

  • C0C0tva

    Better headline “Apple takes queue from CoM website but makes a lot more money at it…”

  • Lance Corvette

    My phone is, and has for 30 years been, *my* portal to the outside world, and **not** the outside world’s portal to me.

    I pay for the phone for *my* use, not so others can use it to push advertising to me.

    This angers me and I don’t even use the iPhone’s app store!

  • jonen

    The reason this cant be compared to sales banners on physical stores or online stores is that firstly, its unavoidable. it takes the entire screen instead of standing at the sides like a web store or physical store would place their ads. secondly, its unrelated to the store its placed in. when you want to browse apps, you want to see apps you can buy there, not hardware you have to buy elsewhere. its like a store advertising for something completely unrelated you can only buy at another store. its an unnecessary distraction