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Apple will probably be extending the free Apple TV + trials via February

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Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon Jennifer Aniston speak at the Apple Spring Event on March 25, 2019.

Source: Apple

Apple will extend some Apple TV + subscriptions to February for a free one-year trial, CNBC confirmed on Thursday.

When Apple TV + launched last fall, Apple bundled a free annual subscription with the purchase of an Apple product, which instantly increased the number of people who could watch the streaming service.

The first of these trial subscriptions previously expired in early November, meaning that people who took the one-year trial and hadn't canceled would be charged $ 4.99 per month for the streaming service.

Now subscribers whose trials started last November, December or January will be extended to February. This means that someone who bought an iPhone on November 1st and activated Apple TV + on the same day will have access to the service until February 1st when billing starts.

For example, someone who signed up on January 25th will have access to Apple TV + and won't be billed until February 25th.

Users who pay for the service monthly – they're not on a hardware trial – will also receive credits through February, according to Apple. The extension is automatic and users don't have to ask for it.

Apple has not disclosed the number of Apple TV + subscribers. The service has fewer TV shows and movies than competitors like Disney +, which topped 60 million subscribers in August after launching last November. Netflix has more than 190 million subscribers worldwide, it said in July. Unlike these services, however, Apple TV + doesn't have a catalog of reruns.

While the initial reviews for Apple TV + were mixed, some titles received critical praise. "The Morning Show," a launch title, received multiple Emmy nominations and won one.

Apple TV + is part of Apple's services business, which is increasingly being used by investors, and which represented 22% of the company's revenue in the quarter ended June. Last month, Apple announced several bundles called Apple One that combine Apple TV + with other Apple paid subscriptions like Apple Music, iCloud Storage, and the Apple Arcade game service.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the end of the free trial at the end of February for anyone receiving a subscription renewal.

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Katherine Clark