AirDrop on iOS 14Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

What you need to know

  • A used device retailer used AirDrop to tell Apple Store customers not to buy new iPhones.
  • The Back Market campaign saw ads sent to iPhones at Apple Stores in London, Paris, and Berlin.
  • The ads asked buyers to go the used route rather than buying brand new devices.

A used device retailer used AirDrop to send ads to iPhones in Apple Stores in an attempt to get buyers to go refurbished instead of buying new. Apple Stores in London, Paris, and Berlin were bombarded with the AirDropped link that opened a Black Market website.

In a YouTube video showing off how everything went down, Back Market shows people in the three Apple Stores receiving the link via AirDrop as they browsed devices including the iPhone 13 range. MacRumors was the first to spot the YouTube ad.

Back Market obviously wants people to buy its refurbished devices rather than Apple's new ones and there is undoubtedly an environmental case to be made to do exactly that. But sending unsolicited AirDrop messages doesn't seem like the best way to spread the word and I can't help but doubt whether any of the people supposedly ditching new iPhones because of the campaign were real customers.

For its part, Apple continues to make strides in ensuring it, and its suppliers, work to help the environment where possible. The company recently announced that its suppliers avoided almost 14 million metric tons of carbon last year, for example. Apple also sells its own refurbished products and has a special machine designed just to take iPhones apart ready for recycling.

As an aside, buying Apple Refurbished is a great way to save some money and get a device that has been fully checked out by Apple — and you can even buy AppleCare+, too!