Recent Apple Loyalists Will Get Free Apple TV+ For a Year

It may seem hard to imagine Apple offering anything for free, but they’re doing it with their latest highly touted new service, Apple TV+ — although they’re not quite giving it away. There’s a hoop you have to jump through first. 

That hoop happens to be shaped like an Apple with a bite taken out of it. In other words, if you bought a new Apple device within a certain time frame, you get the new service for free for one year. 

How to get Apple TV+ for free

Apple TV+ logo on a laptop screen
Apple TV+ | Chesnot/Getty Images

Apple puts these details down in the fine print of their press release, but here’s the way it works. If you bought a new device on September 10 or later, you can get the free streaming service. The good news is, you don’t have to buy the device from Apple directly — buying it through a carrier or a store also qualifies. 

The device selection is a little limited. It applies to iPhones, iPads, Apple TV boxes, Macs or iPod Touches (yes, they still make those) that run the appropriate operating system.

In other words, an Apple Watch doesn’t qualify, and it can’t be an old device you bought off a reseller. It has to be a device on which you can watch videos, and one that will accept iOS 12.3 or later, tvOS 12.3 or later and macOS Catalina.

Once you have the qualifying device, the process is pretty easy. Just open the Apple TV app, and you will be prompted to confirm your subscription. Once you do that, Apple TV+ is free from that date for one year. 

Even if you don’t have a new device, Apple TV+ is cheap

If you didn’t buy a new device soon enough, or if you don’t own an Apple device, you’re not entirely out of luck on something free. If you sign up for Apple TV+, you get a seven-day free trial. After that, the cost is $4.99 a month.

Similarly, if your device does qualify for the free-one year trail, Apple will start charging you $4.99 a month once that’s done. 

That low price point surprised users who are used to paying a lot of money for Apple products. Apple is almost never the cheapest option in the tech world. But this is a whole new world for Apple.

Up until this point, Apple has been primarily a hardware producer. They make the devices that play the content, but they usually don’t make the content themselves. 

Apple TV+ changes all that, which means unlike Disney+ or Netflix, they’re starting on the ground floor. They’re not licensing other people’s content or relying on a vault of content that goes back many decades. They’re spending a pretty penny to be a content provider, so they don’t have a ton of shows at the launch date 

Is it too early to tell if Apple TV+ is a failure or a hit?

That said. Apple has turned to some heavy hitters for its shows. Probably the biggest attraction is The Morning Show, with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

See goes for the Game of Thrones crowd with Jason Moma, Dickinson aims for the youth audience with Hailee Steinfeld as the poet Emily Dickinson, and For All Mankind is a “what if” show that speculates what would happen if the space race were still going today, with the Russians reaching the moon first. 

The shows have received fairly middling reviews, but Apple is in this for the long haul. Per the Hollywood Reporter, all of the named shows have gotten additional season pickups, with sources saying that Apple is “thrilled” with its numbers.

It will be interesting to see if the thrill hangs around, once Disney+ and HBO Max and eventually Universal’s Peacock dive into an extremely crowded streaming pond.