Apple TV Plus: How to Activate the ‘Free with an iPhone’ Special

Apple TV Plus


Certain people who recently purchased iPhones and other Apple devices can actually watch the new Apple TV Plus (aka Apple TV+) service for free for a year. This means having access to TV shows like For All Mankind, The Morning Show, and See right away without having to pay anything.  If you’re wondering how the “Free with an iPhone” special works with the new Apple TV Plus service, we have the details.

Apple TV Plus offers new Apple Originals every month. The content is ad-free and on-demand as soon as each episode released. As an added plus, the service can be used by up to six family members, and episodes can be downloaded and watched offline. You might have heard that some people with iPhones and other Apple devices will get to watch Apple TV Plus for free rather than $4.99 a month. This is true, but with some limitations and restrictions.

Only People Who Bought Eligible Devices After September 10, 2019 Qualify

Only people who bought a new Apple device (such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or an Apple TV) after September 10, 2019 are eligible for this offer. After the free trial, you will be charged $4.99 a month. In order to not be charged, cancel your subscription in the Settings menu any time after the renewal date. If you cancel before the renewal date, you’ll use your free one-year trial and you won’t be able to reactivate it.

The device must have been purchased from Apple or an authorized reseller in order to get this offer.

The offer is only good for three months after your eligible device was activated, starting November 1, 2019. In other words, you can’t redeem the free offer until November 1 or later. If you purchased your new device before November 1 (but after September 10), you will have three months to redeem the offering starting on November 1. After that, the offer must be claimed in the Apple TV app within three months after you first set up your new device.

You Must Be Running the Lastest OS

In order to be able to redeem the offer, your device must be running the latest iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or macOS. So if you were eligible but couldn’t redeem the offer, try updating your device’s OS and see if that makes a difference.

The offer can’t be combined with any other free trials or Apple TV Plus offers. And only one person per Family can use it, but the offer can be shared with five other family members through the Family Sharing feature.

You can read the full terms and conditions here.

How To Activate Your Offer

To activate your offer, turn on your device and make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID. Open the Apple TV app on November 1 or later, making sure that your eligible device is running the latest OS. (The service is already available as of the time of publication.)

When you launch the app, the offer should immediately appear on your device. If it doesn’t, scroll down toward “Watch Now” and the offer should appear on your screen. If it still doesn’t, you may need to click on one of the actual Apple TV Plus shows listed on the “Watch Now” tab and then the “Enjoy 1 Year Free” message should appear. (Heavy had to actually click on the show See before we could make the offer appear.)

Tap on “Enjoy 1 Year Free.” You may need to enter your Apple ID password and confirm your billing information to make sure you have a valid payment method or it may start playing automatically for you if you already have payments set up. But you won’t be charged until after the one-year trial has ended. After you set this up, you should be able to access your free trial from any device where you’re signed in with your Apple ID. Heavy was able to then access the free trial through an Apple TV device connected to the Apple ID.

See the full instructions on Apple’s website here.

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