Free Apple TV+ subscription extended yet again

Some people will get 21 months of Apple TV+ free

Apple TV+ free subscription
(Image credit: Apple)

 There’s some good news for people already enjoying a free Apple TV+ subscription - the 12 months of free service has been extended again. Anyone currently enjoying a free year will see it extended to July 2021. That means that some people who bought devices after the iPhone 11 launched will have enjoyed 21 months of the service for free.

If you want to check to see if you’re included then keep an eye out for an email from Apple confirming it. You can also check your settings, under “Apple ID - subscriptions” where it should show an adjusted billing date for your next payment. 

Back in 2019 when Apple launched its shiny new TV service it also announced that anyone buying specific devices, like an iPhone or iPad, would get 12 months included at no extra charge. This has likely driven the number of subscribers up substantially, with Ampere Analysis claiming that Apple had 33.6 million customers at the end of 2019 and with Statista projecting there would be 40 million by the end of 2020. 

When was the free Apple TV+ offer supposed to end? 

 Originally Apple said that people buying new hardware would enjoy a year free. That meant the first people who activated their subscription should have seen it end in around November 2020. However, Apple made the decision to extend the offer which meant that early adopters would get it free until February 2021. 

This was likely, at least partially, down to Coronavirus, which has delayed the return of shows like See and The Morning show. This is, after all, a pretty effective way of keeping people subscribed if the new content is a little slow appearing. By giving away longer subs, most people will have no reason to cancel before their payment of $4.99 / £4.99 / $AU7.99 kicks in.  

What happens if I pay for my subscription? 

There’s some good news - reports indicate that paying customers will see a refund appear for months between February and July. According to 9to5Mac , if you’re paying, this will be given back in the form of store credit – which presumably you can use for future months of either Apple TV+ or other services, like Apple Arcade or iCloud storage. 

It’s unlikely that customers joining the service now will get any freebies. However, if there was yet another extension, you may well get to take advantage of it. Don’t bank on it though, as it’s far from a certainty that there will be more. 

What devices qualify for 12 months free Apple TV+ 

To get Apple’s TV service free you’ll need to have bought a device after September 10, 2019. The following products are eligible for the offer: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.

But do be aware that it’s unlikely a device bought now will get such a generous extension.

If you're after a new device, be sure to check T3's roundup of best Apple deals.

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.