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You'll no longer get a free year of Apple TV Plus with a new iPhone

You'll have to be content with three months.

Published onJune 15, 2021

  • Apple is ending a promo that gave a year of free TV Plus service with the purchase of a new device.
  • You’ll get ‘just’ three months of free access after July 1.
  • The move reflects confidence that TV Plus can stand on its own.

One of the easiest (if also most expensive) ways to watch Apple TV Plus is about to go away. MacRumors reports that Apple is ending a promo that gave a free year of TV Plus to people buying new iPhones, Macs and other major devices.

Visit the service page and you’ll get an alert that Apple will stop offering a free year of TV Plus as of July 1. From then on, you’ll get ‘just’ three months of no-cost access before you have to consider a paid subscription.

Related: The best video streaming apps and services for Android

While the free year was clearly preferable, the smaller TV Plus deal is still significant compared to what you’ll get with rival streaming services. Amazon Prime Video offers a standard 30-day trial, while Disney Plus and Netflix have largely done away with trial periods. You can still watch entire seasons of Ted Lasso and other shows without having to marathon episodes or pay for your subscription.

To some extent, Apple didn’t have much of a choice but to drop the promo. The free year of Apple TV Plus was meant to boost adoption for the fledgling service to help with compete with Amazon and Netflix. However well that worked, there were concerns Apple was using the free service to prop up subscriber numbers. The three-month trial is both a test of TV Plus’ real sticking power as well as a reflection of confidence in a service that now has a few bona fide hits — and possibly the audience to match.

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