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.

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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