Apple TV+ logoSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Anyone buying Apple hardware gets Apple TV+ free for a year.
  • But some people have been offered a free year without buying anything.
  • Worse, some buying new iPhones aren't being offered their free year.

When Apple TV+ launched on November 1 Apple said that anyone who bought an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV would get a free year of access. Anyone who bought after September 10 should be good to go. But it seems some people who haven't bought anything are getting a free year, too.

We've seen multiple people taking to Twitter to share their unusually good luck and Trusted Reviews rounded some up as well. And I can't quite work out what's going on.

https://twitter.com/The_Manoeuvre/status/1190199256851918848

I'm taking all of these tweets at face value because there's little reason for anyone to lie about such things. But what exactly is going on? I see a few possibilities.

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  • Apple's software isn't quite behaving itself properly – that wouldn't really be a shock right now – and something somewhere thinks these people bought qualifying hardware when they didn't.
  • It's something to do with Family Sharing. Apple says the free year offer includes Family Sharing, so the iPhone 11 Pro I bought on launch day gets my whole family access to Apple TV+. Do these people have family members who qualify and that's why they're receiving the offer?
  • It's possible these people don't realize that the offer includes more than iPhones. Did they pick up an Apple TV+? A new MacBook for school? It's certainly possible.

Worse, we've heard of people who should have received a free year, but didn't. If you fall into that unlucky group I'd suggest reaching out to Apple Support and telling them. They'll have you nose-deep in "For All Mankind" soon enough!

So here we are. I've reached out to a couple of people who say they wrongly received a free year of Apple TV+ and I'll report back if I learn anything. But for now I'd love to know how you fared with this offer. Did you get a year of Apple TV+ when you shouldn't have? Let me know in the comments or our poll!

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