Since the launch of Apple TV+ in November 2019, Apple has offered an unusually gracious free trial. Just buy any Apple product capable of running the TV app (iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV) and you get Apple TV+ free for one year. Beginning July 1, that free trial period for new purchases will be reduced to three months, matching the Apple Arcade free trial.
You have until June 30 to purchase qualifying hardware and still get a free year of the service, which otherwise costs $4.99 a month. Apple TV+ is also included in every tier of the Apple One subscription bundle.
The change was quietly introduced in an update to the Apple TV+ marketing site. Apple still says you get a free year, but follows it with the detailed description, “when you purchase and activate an Apple device before June 30th, 2021.” That description links to a footnote that further clarifies the change: “Eligible devices activated July 1, 2021, or later will qualify for offers of 3 months free Apple TV+. Eligible devices activated on June 30, 2021, or earlier will qualify for offers of 12 months free Apple TV+.”
Apple’s one-year free offer was extended twice as a way to keep subscribers from canceling while it struggled to release new, high-quality content. The COVID-19 pandemic caused big delays to new show launches and second-season premieres, but the service is back on its stride now. There are lots of upcoming Apple TV+ shows, including both new shows like Physical and Schmigadoon! and second seasons of early hits like The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, and See. Some shows, like Trying and Mythic Quest, are already in their second season.
I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.