This UK Shopper Ordered a Bag of Apples and Got an iPhone Instead

Tesco free iPhone with apples Credit: Daily Mirror
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At least one customer of UK supermarket chain Tesco got a nice surprise in his grocery order when the apples in his bag turned out to be an Apple iPhone instead.

While we usually hear about these things happening the other way — such as a woman in China who received apple yogurt instead of the iPhone she ordered, this was not only a much happier surprise, but it turns out it wasn’t a mistake either. Instead, it’s part of a deliberate promotion being run by the supermarket chain.

As reported by the UK’s Daily Mirror, Tesco shopper Nick James was stunned after ordering a bag of apples and discovering that he had an iPhone SE in his click-and-collect order.

James told the Mirror that employees had informed him that there was a “surprise” in his bag when he first picked up his order, but he was “gobsmacked” to find that it was actually a free iPhone, rather than just “an Easter egg or something.”

Apparently, we ordered apples and randomly got an Apple iPhone! Made my son’s week!

Nick James

The new iPhone was accompanied by a card in the bag telling James that he “got a super substitute” and explaining the promotion, which is intended to promote the supermarket chain’s mobile phone brand, Tesco Mobile.

Amazing things happen when the worlds of supermarket and mobile come together, and so Tesco Mobile is surprising select shoppers by substituting Click+Collect grocery items with a fun Tesco Mobile substitute.


The promotion goes beyond the iPhone, with Tesco making somewhat whimsical substitutions for customers that are tied to specific grocery items. Orders for apples naturally line up with the iPhone SE, while customers ordering laundry tablets might find themselves with a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, and those with gnocchi in their order could get a Nokia 3.4. Freshly baked bread rolls may also result in a Motorola E7.

There are some higher-value items too. Ordering mini cheddars could net shoppers an iPhone 12 mini, while a Galaxy milk chocolate bar could be substituted for a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G.

It’s also not just smartphones, with Tesco giving away some Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 smartwatches with orders of Galaxy chocolate drinks, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live for cotton buds, and Samsung’s Galaxy Fit 2 Black from an order for Pampers Active Fit Nappies (diapers).

Lastly, for reasons that are better left to the imagination, an order for frozen cod could result in finding a set of AirPods in your shopping bag.

Of course, the giveaways are limited in scope, so most Tesco shoppers aren’t going to find a smartphone in their grocery bags. The company says it’s limited to 80 items at only six stores, and it’s only running until April 18, with shoppers chosen at random from those who are making purchases of specific qualifying items. Only click-and-collect orders are eligible — those where customers place the order online and pick up their groceries at the store, although with much of the country locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s how the vast majority of its customers have been shopping in recent months anyway.

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