Apple Pushes iPhone 6s Upgrades With Annoying App Store Popup Ads

Apple's iPhone business is pretty much a license to print money, but even with record iPhone sales each quarter now the norm, the Cupertino outfit wants to see more users make the jump to its latest generation handsets. To encourage that, Apple's pushing pop-up ads in the App Store on older generation iPhones promoting the iPhone 6s.

These aren't just quick pop-ups or banners, either. A user on Reddit ("evenifoutside") posted a screen grab of the full screen advertisement, which marks a first for Apple. The ad shows stock images of the "Ridiculously Powerful" iPhone 6s and serves as a wall between the user and the App Store until it's manually dismissed by tapping the Skip option in the upper right corner. Alternately, users can choose to "Learn More" or "Upgrade Now," if they desire.

iPhone 6s

"I noticed a few apps needed updating, so launched the App Store and an ad popped up for the iPhone 6s (I'm currently on an iPhone 5s running iOS 9.2), screenshot here. This might make sense in the Apple Store App, but not when I'm updating something on my phone. Has anyone else seen this?," the Reddit user posted.

Here's a look at his screen grab:

iPhone 6s Ad
It's not clear how Apple is deciding which phones to display the pop-ups, or when. After hearing about this, I borrowed an iPhone 5s running iOS 9.1 and fired up the App Store, but didn't see the ad. It didn't show up after upgrading the handset to iOS 9.2, either.

Nevertheless, there are reports of the pop-up appearing on older handsets running either version, so it doesn't seem to be specific to iOS 9.1 or iOS 9.2.

So, why now? Perhaps Apple is looking to push a few extra sales during the holiday season. Whatever the reason, there's a fair bit of negative buzz surrounding the ad, some of it due to the irony of Apple implementing an ad blocking feature to prevent the competition from displaying ads in iOS.

Beyond the irony, Apple set itself for a meme, which I took the liberty of creating:

Apple iPhone Meme

We'll have to see how this campaign affects sales. For its most recent financial report, Apple disclosed record revenue of $51.5 billion during its fiscal fourth quarter with a net profit of $11.1 billion. A large part of that was due to a 22 percent year-over-year increase in iPhone sales.