Apple pushes intrusive iPhone 6s ad to some users inside the App Store

By , Dec 11, 2015

Twitter is on fire with reports from disgruntled users who were taken aback after witnessing a full-screen iPhone 6s ad taking over the App Store on their devices. The ad is, of course, from Apple itself and was conceived to persuade owners of pre-iPhone 6s models to upgrade to the ”ridiculously powerful” iPhone 6s.

The pop-up ad is full-screen and asks users to “Learn More,” which takes them to the iPhone 6s webpage on Apple’s website, or “Upgrade Now.”

The latter option redirects users to the the Buy iPhone 6s page inside the official Apple Store app, if installed. Want to get back to what your were doing? That’ll require tapping a dedicated button to dismiss the ad.

So, what’s going on here?

What a low ball move on Apple’s part

Why’s this supposedly mundane move on Apple’s part newsworthy? No matter how you look at it, Apple pushing unwanted ads to users inside the App Store is a very odd move. More worryingly than that is the fact that this ad for the “ridiculously powerful” iPhone 6s is ridiculously intrusive.

I wouldn’t go as far as to paint this as a move out of desperation: after all, larger-screened iPhones are selling like hotcakes. That being said, Apple should’ve known better than tarnish the brand by shoveling unwanted advertising down our throat.

Again, this wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the intrusiveness: the ad’s shown without user intervention and forces you to tap “Skip”to get back to what you were doing.

Definitely not cool.

Modal overlays should have no place in App Store

This isn’t the first time Apple has exploited the App Store to promote its own products, but banner ads that can be optionally tapped are one thing and requiring users to dismiss a full-screen ad with a dedicated button is on a whole different level. To my knowledge, this is a first for the App Store.

If Google pulled a stunt like this, no one would notice. But with Apple, every move is closely scrutinized (exhibit A: the “hump” on Apple’s new battery case) so I’m not surprised that this ad is blowing up and making headlines.

App Store banner ads are OK. But this…

That’s not saying Apple shouldn’t be entitled to experiment with App Store advertising, quite the contrary, but not if it means full-screen ads that degrade user experience, and that’s precisely the chief complaint here.

How do you feel about this ad? Are we making much ado about nothing or is it a legitimate complaint? Will Apple’s move backfire and cause angst among the most ardent fans, do you think?

Source: Sergio on Twitter

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  • Fabrizio Fernández R.

    People are making too much of a deal out of this, the only problem here is that we, as iDevice customers, are no used to having fullscreen displayed ads, but I mean, you can skip it, it’s not forcing you to read or buy something in order to use the damn store, don’t y’all be so ridiculous.

    • Merman123

      How is it not forcing you? It’s throwing a full screen pop up ad at you.

      This is not what we expect from Apple , and it’s a very tacky advertising strategy.

      • Picapollo

        True! That advertisement got me really mad…

      • Jordan Brown

        The ad only appears one time. I could see the concern if it appeared constantly, like every other time you opened the App Store, but it appears once.

      • Fabrizio Fernández R.

        But tell me. Isn’t there an skip button?

      • Jackson Grong

        YOU’RE WORTHLESS
        (skip this message if you please)

        It dosen’t work that way, see?

      • Yes there is and this isn’t even a slightly worthy reason to be mad with Apple. Maybe some of the Apple user community hasn’t dealt much with Droid, but I’ve run into many ads that I couldn’t even close out of, until I reopened the app. That’s intrusive!

      • I agree it’s very tacky, but not even slightly “forcing” you to do anything at all, besides closing the popup.
        If this is what ruined your day today, then you really need to get out of the house more. Lol

    • Benedict

      It wouldn’t be a problem if apple wouldn’t have claimed to be the company which would “respect” your privacy and not use methods like advertisement. I mean, you thought that’s what you paid for.

  • I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you

  • Is this what I have to look forward to next year after the iPhone 7 in released?

  • the hood

    I wouldn’t call it irony so much as careful planning. On the one hand Apple champion for privacy/protection etc with apps to block trackers and ads, yet they circumvent all that with their own ads under the guise of ‘iads’. No not irony.

  • Toukale

    Slow news day plus everything Apple does, we get this big hoopla from the blogs one way or the other to drum up some sort of controversy for clicks. I come to think of it as the price Apple must pay for being on top. I obviously don’t approved but It comes with the territory if you ask me.

  • askep3

    They are ruining their reputation lol

  • :D

    Intrusive?

  • Toukale

    Hey this is Apple, everything is a big deal, no matter how ludicrous it may be, it must be the end of the world lol.

  • Jerry

    I think this was directed to the majority of the iPhone users who really don’t know when the phone comes out “the same people who don’t jailbreak or know about iOS updates”. So I think apple is just trying to reach them and inform them about the new phone. WE the geeks are the minority when it comes to needing to have the latest and greatest and always being the first to have it.

  • Nathan

    I get this on my 5s.

  • Benedict

    You wouldn’t notice, because – against all prejudices – Google doesn’t and never would.

  • Jordan Brown

    You have got to be kidding me. I saw the ad myself and thought nothing of it. Why are people way overreacting about this? It’s a one time ad that doesn’t appear again so what’s the issue? Leave it to people to way overreact about a tiny thing Apple did, guess it’s just pretty slow in the tech world and people need something to complain about, something Apple related.

    • Jon20

      I don’t understand why people are making a big deal of this either. I guess they forgot that they were looking at an app store that belongs to Apple which means they can put whatever the hell they want on their app store site. It’s not like they’re looking at another website like let’s say Best Buy and all of a sudden this full screen ad for the iPhone 6s comes up. People are just complaining for dumb reasons these days.

  • Jordan Brown

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. I had a 4s for two years and it was just as fast as when I got it at the time I upgraded.

    • Jackson Grong

      Well, congrats on your luck, pretty much every phone except the 6S/6S+ plus feel sluggish on iOS 9.(the 6S+ force touch too till 9.2)
      The iPhone 5 becomes so laggy it’s painful to use and watch animate.
      9.2 brings a little better permormance, but it’s still terrible, comparing it to iOS 8, the performance in most tasks is almost the same as my 6S.

      • Jordan Brown

        I have a 6 and a 5c and the 5c runs perfectly fine. I think the issue 99% of the time is operator error or people going 5+ years without ever restoring their phone and using years and years of old backups.

      • Jackson Grong

        Are you suppost to delete your data because Apple can’t figure out how to make it work? It’s a 700$ phone, and a 250billions+ company. And they keep F up a software that millions use, and you can’t downgrade. That’s the problem.

      • Jordan Brown

        After six or seven years of having the same backup? Yes, Apple can only make it work for so long without cleaning it up. It’s called regular maintainence, every device needs it.

      • Jackson Grong

        Deleting all your data and starting from scratch is not maintainence, it’s deleting all your data.

      • Haha very true! However I always restore my iPhone as a new iPhone, whenever I jailbreak. That’s the only time I update iOS. I noticed years ago that I was encountering constant issues from leftover jailbreak data that would mess with the new iOS and tweaks.

      • Jordan Brown

        It is when you have seven years of backups compounded.

      • Jordan Brown

        And most of your info is stored in iCloud anyway so it can be easily recovered.

      • Again. Updates are there for a reason. SECURITY. Sure, don’t update your phone. Get viruses and bugs. Just don’t complain to Apple for not fixing things in updates that you don’t want to be on. Go to Android if you want this flexibility.

      • I just restored an iPad 2 that still had iOS 4.3 on it! I work in computer repair and had a hard time even getting it to update to iOS 9. In fact, it took over 2 days to get it to finally update and not give me the iTunes Error 9.
        Who doesn’t update their iOS for that damn long?! That’s just plain stupidity to stay on such an outdated iOS.

      • Dang! The iOS 9.2 update really makes 3D Touch that much smoother? I won’t sacrifice my jailbreak but that’s good to hear for whenever a new jailbreak is released.

  • Jordan Brown

    Right? I saw it and thought nothing of it. I was like “whatever”. I don’t know why people are getting so bent out of shape about this, probably because it’s been an entire two months since Apple’s releases anything and people need to find something to complain about.

    • Cristian B

      People are stupid and easily annoyed nowadays. It’s sad really

  • n0ahcruz3

    6s not matching the same amount of sales as last years quarter maybe?

  • Furrnace

    I don’t see what the big deal is. I would just dismiss the ad quickly if it came up and then think nothing of it. I think we iOS users might be a bit spoiled when it comes to ad placements. Not sure why people are upset about this. 1st world problem I guess.

  • Franklin Richards

    It’s ironic that they introduced a way to block ads on their web browser and then force a fullscreen ad on their own apps.

    • the hood

      Franklin, great minds think alike.

  • Xee

    Stupid move by Apple!

  • I don’t think they are slowing them down ‘intentionally’ That’s the reason they exclude some features such as Live photos from older phones even though, software wise, the phone can do it.
    I have noticed how mu mac takes longer to boot on El Capitan than it did on Mavericks but still, it has more things to load.

  • ProllyWild

    Outrage over something as small as this reminds me that I’m probably overdue on leaving the Internet forums……

  • I have to completely agree with you and it is total bs. I have had that opinion on iOS and older iDevices for a long time.
    On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, Windows 10 has made older computers actually run much better. Funny how that works when your quarterly earnings aren’t your only priority.
    I do love Apple but it’s things like this that really disgust me.
    Also just ignore the iDB trolls, they pounce on anyone that has something negative to say about Apple. It’s almost as bad with some as saying something bad about the mythical guy in the clouds. Ha

  • Mathew Ledbetter

    Reminds me of the tacky pop up ads on this site.

  • Alexandre Isurugi

    It’s their store. They can do what they want. If you don’t like it, just use a browser instead. This is like complaining that Apple is advertising their products in their retail store.