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Apple sends rare push notification ad promoting App Store's (RED) campaign

Apple on Monday sent out a rare self-promoting iOS push notification regarding the iOS App Store's (RED) campaign to help fight AIDS, though the unsolicited message turned out to be a cause of concern for certain users.

As seen in the screenshot above, Apple pushed out a rather innocuous notification that read, "Get great apps and help (RED) fight AIDS," which linked to a corresponding App Store landing page featuring (RED)-themed content.

The notification caused a small kerfuffle as it plainly contradicted Apple's own developer guidelines, which state push notifications are not to be used for advertisements of any kind. Critics say the notification's content is not in question, but instead that Apple perhaps crossed a line by taking advantage of a tool customers agree to use in good faith. Others argued Apple's push was of no real concern as it promoted a good cause.

Apple, a longtime partner of Bono's PROJECT(RED) initiative to end the propagation of HIV/AIDS in Africa, announced a fundraising campaign last week created in partnership with top app developers. From Nov. 24 through Dec. 7, a number of popular apps, including first-party titles like GarageBand are offering exclusive in-app content to raise money for (RED)'s global fund.

In addition to the App Store campaign, Apple also gave out iTunes gift cards with select hardware purchases on Black Friday, with each card representing an additional donation to (RED), and will donate to (RED) a portion of all Apple Store retail sales taken in today, Cyber Monday.

Earlier today, Apple Stores around the world changed the color of their iconic logos to red in honor of World AIDS Day.