Verizon is giving away free iPhone 8s, if you can find them

Through Friday, Sept. 22, Verizon's iPhone 8 promotion will lead you on an AR scavenger hunt across the city.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Verizon is offering up to $300 off an iPhone 8 when you trade in your old phone. Even better, the company is also giving away iPhones 8s. That is, if you can find them. 

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The AR number 8 could be hiding in your city. Time to go find it!


Verizon is hosting an iPhone giveaway through Friday, Sept. 22 only. The sweepstakes is a lot like a scavenger hunt with an AR/Snapchat twist. If you live in one of the participating cities (San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta or New York) you'll get a series of clues (just go here and scan the posted Snapcode into your Snapchat app).

This will give you a clue to find the hidden number 8, but keep in mind that some only appear during certain times or under certain conditions. A countdown clock will let you know when to look for the number, and a GPS will tell you how far away you are from it. Taking a picture of the 8 will enter you into the sweepstakes, but Verizon says that more creative pictures will increase your chances. A simple selfie might not cut it. There is a catch though, if you win an iPhone 8 you'll have to activate it with a Verizon cellular plan. No other networks will be available. For a full list of terms and conditions, click here.

Watch this: Apple jumps into augmented reality with developer kit

While scavenger hunts are fun and free iPhones are even better, the Verizon giveaway represents a new world of using AR for promotions or advertising. Last year Pokemon Go's obscene popularity introduced a lot of people to AR. Remember how Starbucks were turned into PokeStops to attract gamers? The Verizon contest does the same thing: put digital ads into the real world using AR.

As Apple integrates its ARKit with iOS 11, and updates the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X with AR-friendly tech (some older phones are also compatible with AR), you may see more companies get their feet wet using AR.

The contest runs through Friday Sept. 22, the same day as the iPhone 8 release. So if you didn't end up winning, you'll still be able to buy it in stores.

Apple's glassy iPhone 8 is all glossed up

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