Apple is Arming (PRODUCT)RED in The Fight Against COVID, The New iPhone SE Plays a Big Role

Apple and their long-standing partnership with the (RED) organization has seen them actively contribute in the fight against HYV/AIDS over the years and continue to do so. Now, Apple says they will donate the proceeds from the sales of (PRODUCT)RED products to The Global Fund’s COVID‑19 Response. This comes at a time when the world is fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, with a lot of countries including India in the midst of a lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve. The launch of the $399 Apple iPhone SE plays a critical role in that, perhaps testified by the fact that the (PRODUCT)RED version of the new iPhone has been launched alongside the more traditional black and white colour options.

“Now through September 30, Apple is partnering with (RED) to redirect 100% of eligible proceeds from (PRODUCT)RED purchases to the Global Fund’s COVID‑19 Response. This will provide critical support in health systems most threatened by outbreak and, in turn, help preserve lifesaving HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Apple. “The COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the most vulnerable communities worldwide and threatens progress against HIV, TB and malaria. The Global Fund, the largest multilateral funder of health systems worldwide, is providing immediate funding of up to US$1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and prevent fragile health systems in from being overwhelmed,” says The Global Fund.

Where did it all start?

In 2002, Bono, the lead vocalist of the rock band U2 (also a singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist) along with activist Bobby Shriver founded a multi-national non-governmental organization called DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa), with the stated purposed of bringing social equality and justice in African countries through debt relief, call for changes to trade rules that are detrimental to African countries, fight the spread of AIDS and even make these countries stronger democracies. In 2004, DATA was one of the founding organizations for the ONE Campaign, a non-profit organization which wanted to secure increased U.S. government funding for international-aid programs. It was in 2006 when Bono and Shriver started a brand licensing company called (RED).

(RED) has some great partnerships going

The (RED) organization has multiple partnerships, including with technology companies, fashion labels and even lifestyle brands. Apart from Apple, on board are Coca Cola, Bank of America, Starbucks, Belvedere Vodka, GAP, Primark, Mont Blanc, Mophie, Alessi, Vespa, Air Asia as well as Vizio are some of the product partners. The promotional partnerships include Google, Twitter, Facebook, HBO and Rolling Stone.

There is a rather wide variety of products that are currently on sale with the (RED) branding—an Amazon Echo smart speaker ($99.99), a Mont Blanc Rollerball pen ($430), Vizio Special Edition 50-inch TV and Carolina Herrera 212 VIP perfumes, to name a few.

Everything Apple Has For PRODUCT(RED)

Where Apple comes into the picture is with the special edition PRODUCT(RED) Special Edition device variants and accessories, which the company has launched over the years. Apple is the world’s largest corporate donor to the Global Fund. At present, the Cupertino based company has these special edition versions of the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, iPhone XR, special edition iPod Touch, Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones, leather and silicon cases for the iPhone, smart covers for the iPad series and sport band as well as sport loop for the Apple Watch, to name a few. Over the years, we have also seen an iPod Classic PRODUCT(RED) Special Edition and even a Mac Pro PRODUCT(RED) Special Edition, which was a one of its kind, and was sold for an eye watering $977,000 at Sotheby’s in November 2013.