Apple Spamming iPhone Users with “Upgrade Now” Ads


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According to a report by CultOfMac, Apple is pushing an unsolicited pop-up notification to owners of older iPhone handsets, in an apparent effort to boost its holiday iPhone sales. The source notes that an ad appears when users with iPhones older than the iPhone 6 visit the App Store, telling them how “ridiculously powerful” the iPhone 6s is. The advert (shown above) is seemingly not tied to the new iOS 9.2 upgrade, since users of older iPhones with iOS 9.1 have also reported seeing the ad.

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.”

Apple has rarely used such aggressive piece of marketing in the past. In fact, most people don’t react well to intrusive advertising like this, which means this could well backfire for Apple, especially if the company makes it a more regular habit of promoting its products using such popups in future.

Have you noticed the ad popup on your iPhone? Do you find it intrusive?


  • MrXax

    I noticed it yesterday.

    More like Ridiculously Expensive.

  • McHuman

    How dare Apple try to promote its products to people who are inside an Apple Store?? Don’t they know that these people are not there shopping? They just want to be left alone to goof around and pretend that they own an Apple product!!

  • hub2

    Got it last night too on my iPhone 5. Haven’t updated to latest iOS.

    As for upgrading to the latest model? Not at these prices, at that insulting 16 GB entry level storage.

    I’ve already told Apple via feedback form, start the iPhones with at *least* 32 GB storage, and start putting your customers’ interests ahead of Wall Street like they used to. I know that’ll mean maybe a billion dollars less in profit since people wouldn’t be forced to buy a pricer model, but Apple under Steve Jobs didn’t give a damn about stock price or what Wall Street had to say.

  • Stroodle

    Yeah, I’m getting this pop up on my 4S with 9.1 already in it. didn’t realize it pulled you to the Apple Store as I never hit anything yet except skip. Thought that was a bit pushy – could care less really, but just another thing that has me questioning Apple’s current method of keeping me as a customer.

  • Joe Peplowski

    You might want to read the article.

  • McHuman

    I did.. Did you?

  • Joe Peplowski

    I mean, the article is talking about the App Store, the store only accessible from Apple’s iOS devices. I think it’s safe to say they actually own Apple products and aren’t just pretending.

  • McHuman

    Ok of all I said you picked on that lol
    I meant those who go to Apple Store and spend hours playing with the products on display with no intention of buying.
    Bit of an extreme sarcasm.

  • Joe Peplowski

    Sure, but I also disagree with what you said justifying their popup ads. They have every right to promote whatever they want in their stores but I think popups are a bit intrusive and in poor taste, especially coming from a company like Apple.

  • McHuman

    Oh well, agree or disagree, they have the right to promote their products. Costco puts an employee at the door and he gives a flyer, never offended me lol

  • winnertakesteve

    at first i read “apple store” and while i still found it a bit intrusive (and hard to geofence against people just walking by), it made sense since you are at the outlet for hardware purchases.

    then i re-read and saw “APP store.” in one sense its better since it isn’t just popping up over whatever you’re doing on your device. on the other hand its going to potentially nag you on a daily basis or however you visit the store for app updates, etc.

    i also find it in poor taste and telling of their strategy to make apple devices disposable. re-buying a $500 gizmo every 2 years was unheard of prior to smart phones. and in most cases we’re having to get “ridiculously powerful” hardware just to continue doing the same basic stuff without the terrible lag they’ve introduced by their awesome new software.

  • McHuman

    Oh wow!! I read it the Apple Store as well!! Funny I only noticed when you mentioned that!
    Now I take it back.. This is not cool!

  • $500 gizmo? Most iPhone models are over $1000 now.

  • Brad Fortin

    Yes, how dare Apple offer a 16 GB model for people who don’t need more than 16 GB and both a 64 GB and a 128 GB model for power-users who need additional storage! How dare they offer a variety of models to suit a variety of needs!

    Doing the math it’s closer to $5-6 billion/year to bump the base storage from 16 to 32 GB. That’s more money than most of its competitors make in a year. It’s also about 10% of their annual profit, all to upgrade a single component. There’s more to it than just money but I’ve got a feeling you don’t care about anything except your own specific use case.

  • hub2

    Taking photos and video, and installer larger apps, are “power user” features now? Please.

    Apologists who use the “people who don’t need more than 16 GB” line wouldn’t think for a second that the latest Macbook with 32 GB, with bumps to 256 and 512 GB in $300 USD increments, would be acceptable, even though 32 GB is more than enough for the base OSX, default apps, and doing basic document edits and web browsing. How dare they gouge Mac users with these basic needs into paying for an extra 200+ GB they’ll never use!

  • southerndinner

    Just ignore him, he’s a professional apologist

  • Brad Fortin

    Different devices have different use cases, and each line of devices has multiple storage sizes to address different users’ needs.

    Apple has the usage statistics of millions of users. Do you really think they’re letting that sort of data go to waste while they make random guesses about how much storage people need? No, of course not, that would be a colossal waste of resources and they’d be out of business in a few years. Instead they study the data and come to conclusions like “most people with an 8 GB iPhone are running out of storage, next year we’ll use 16 GB as the base model” or “looks like most people with the base model Fusion Drive don’t use the full 128 GB SSD, not even a quarter of it, they keep 99% of their stuff on the 1 TB HDD, we can save some resources by slimming that down from 128 GB to 24 GB and it’ll affect less than 1% of customers”.

    It’s pretty arrogant to think that a company like Apple got to be as successful as they are by sheer blatant ignorance as disregard for its customers and their needs. If anything their success proves that they’re doing just the opposite by consistently giving customers things they want and love.