updated 09:13 pm EST, Fri December 27, 2013
Company strangely swaps gifts midday on second day
Apple is currently in the last throes of the second "gift" for users of its 12 Days of Gifts iOS app, now offering the Rovio game Tiny Thief (which was originally $5) in the US, while in the UK and Australia/NZ the second day present was a single episode of the BBC documentary series Africa. Earlier in the day, US users were able to download a free copy of the pilot for the TV series Once Upon a Time, but this was oddly changed mid-day in favor of the game.
The first day gift worldwide was a Justin Timberlake "single"' offering four songs from his recent appearance at the iTunes Festival in London (still free of charge). A new offering will appear each day until January 6. This year marks the first time that Apple has run a 12 Days promotion in the US. The company has used previous ones to give away not only music but also things like apps, books, and movies. It teased the formal start of the 2013 promo by giving away Lorde's "No Better" on December 16. The Tiny Thief giveaway was also seen throughout Europe and other regions, particularly those where TV shows are not yet sold.
In the UK, some confusion broke out when the link to the free episode of Africa took users to the main page for the series rather than the specific episode that was free, prompting some users to accidentally pay for the entire series. Later reports indicated that Apple refunded users who accidentally bought the show. The gift for the third day in the UK is the e-book The Ice Princess by Swedish crime writer Camilla Lackberg. It is the first book of a series of novels.
The third day gift in the US may end up being the aborted Once Upon a Time pilot, seen previously in the morning for some US users. Gifts change at midnight in the easternmost time zone of the affected countries.