Some people are mistakenly getting Apple TV+ free for a year. Did you?

Apple TV+ logo
Apple TV+ logo (Image credit: Apple TV+)

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.

  • 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!

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.