In the midst of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, (RED), the global charity that has long sought to end the worldwide AIDS epidemic, has expanded its focus to also include COVID-19 responses in developing countries, and now Apple is upping its own game to help support (RED)’s mission.
Apple has supported the (RED) organization for well over a decade already through the sales of (RED) branded products and promotions, joining other big-name brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Nike, which have collectively generated more than $650 million dollars over the past several years — $250 million of which has come solely from Apple’s efforts alone, generally as a result of donating the proceeds of the sale of special edition (PRODUCT)RED products.
Apple’s partnership began in 2006 with a special (PRODUCT)RED edition of the second-generation iPod nano, from which the company pledged $10 from the sale of each unit to the (RED) Global Fund, raising more money in that first year than any other partner. Apple continued to offer (PRODUCT)RED editions of the iPod nano with each new model, while also adding the iPod shuffle to the mix and later on the iPod touch in 2012.
For several years Apple also offered (PRODUCT)RED iPhone cases, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the first (PRODUCT)RED iPhone arrived with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple has since continued this with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and into the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, and, for the first time this year, the Apple Watch Series 6.
While (RED)’s mission since the beginning has been to create a Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in developing nations such as Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, and South Africa, with the rise of COVID-19, it’s expanded its mission to also support communities grappling with these other diseases while also protecting against COVID-19, since the pandemic has created a whole new set of challenges in accessing care, diagnostics, and supplies, diverting them from life-saving HIV/AIDS services.
Ramping up Support
While Apple already redirected its contributions to the new Global Fund COVID-19 Response at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year, the company has now announced that it will be expanding its partnership in order to increase its contributions from now until June of next year.
With a wide range of new (PRODUCT)RED devices, including the Apple Watch Series 6 (the first time the wearable has been part of the program) Apple has now agreed to donate 100 percent of eligible proceeds from all (PRODUCT)RED purchases to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response from now until June 30, 2021.
In addition, for the next week Apple will also be donating $1 for every purchase made with Apple Pay on the Apple Store — online or in-person — to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response.
Already Apple’s contributions have helped support more contact tracing in South Africa, secured critical personal protective equipment and emergency medical equipment for health workers in Ghana and Zambia, and even allowed for the purchase of vehicles to deliver HIV treatment to communities that have been isolated by COVID-19.
Much as it did last year, Apple is once again marking World AIDS Day with red logos and window displays in its retail stores around the world, while also launching new awareness campaigns in Apple Music and the App Store.
“On Apple Music, listeners can tune into the debut of “Jaiye” (“Time of Our Lives”) by Nigerian musician LADIPOE, remixed by DJ Sigag and Aluna — the first single off “DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES Vol. III.” Users can also listen to the interview with LADIPOE, Aluna, and Don Jazzy on The Ebro Show on Apple Music 1, or check out curated music and more in a special Apple Music feature.”
On the App Store side, new editorial features will highlight key apps to help users manage their medications and discuss sensitive health matters, while Apple’s TV app will be highlighting a World AIDS Day collection of content that’s designed to “reveal the human cost of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”