Netflix is offering some content without subscription – but not on iPhone

Netflix gift card
Netflix gift card (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Netflix is letting users watch some huge shows without paying a subscription fee.
  • Users can watch "Boss Baby," "Stranger Things," and more.
  • Multiple devices are supported, but iPhone isn't one of them.

Good news for those on the fence about picking up a Netflix subscription following the streamer's decision to let users watch some content free of charge. And while people can use all kinds of devices to take that content in, iPhones are a no-go. So far, nobody seems to know why.

As spotted by Gadgets360, there are some big names available for people to check out with the first episode of some big shows on offer to those who aren't yet subscribers.

Netflix is offering limited free access to several original series and movies, including Stranger Things, Murder Mystery, Élite, Boss Baby: Back in Business, Bird Box, When They See Us, Love Is Blind, The Two Popes, Our Planet, and Grace and Frankie. If you are undecided on whether Netflix is worth the monthly subscription, well, the streaming service is here to help convince you. With the free access, you'll be able to watch the full movie with all language options, though only the first episode of the first season is available for TV shows. And you don't even need a Netflix account to make use of this offer.

That's the good news, with the better news being that people can stream on all kinds of devices including Macs. The strange news is that iPhones aren't supported. And nobody knows why.

A Netflix help page for the same notes that only browsers on computers — Windows PCs or Macs — and Android devices are supported. Other platforms — iOS, smart TVs, or Fire Stick — and incognito mode are not supported.

The reason for Netflix's decision to offer free content is obvious – people get hooked on the first episode of a show and pony up for a subscription. But no iPhone?

I've reached out to Netflix to ask why and will update here when I find out what's going down.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.