AIDS Stories January 20, 2016

Jony Ive reflects on a decade of Bono’s Product RED campaign to combat HIV/AIDS

Bono’s Product RED campaign to fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa has partnered with Apple for so long that you could easily mistake it as an Apple-created initiative, and this year the effort turns 10 years old with more than $350 million raised according to the Financial Times. In marking the decade-long effort to raise awareness and eliminate the virus/disease, FT highlighted Apple’s roots in the campaign:

The late Steve Jobs was involved with Red, designing and selling a Red-branded iPod. Apple has maintained its connection since Jobs’ death in 2011. Two years ago, Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, and his colleague Marc Newson, ran an auction of specially designed products, including a Leica Digital Rangefinder camera the pair customised, which sold for $1.8m. The auction raised $13m for Red, matched by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Apple’s design chief Jony Ive shared his take in the piece on how Product RED has had a humanitarian reach, challenging the idea of any corporate effect.

Does Sir Jonathan think Red affected how companies think of corporate social responsibility? He demurs. “I’m much more interested in how a mother feels whose daughter is still alive than whether Red has had an impact on other companies.”

He adds: “The thing that first struck me was that the magnitude and ugliness of the problem would normally be cause for people to turn away. I loved the way Bono saw it as a problem to be solved.”

You can read the full piece on a decade of Bono’s Product RED campaign here.

AIDS Stories February 19, 2014

Square and (RED) team up for special edition card reader to fight AIDS

Mobile payments company Square is teaming up with Bono’s Product RED organization for a special edition credit card reader that benefits charity. Square has become one of the leaders in processing credit card payments on mobile devices with a small credit card reader available for iPhone and iPad as well as point-of-sale software and hardware kits for merchants. The special SQUA(RED) Reader will be available for a $10 donation with 97.25% of the amount going directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Customers swiping their cards will also get the opportunity to donate through a link on their emailed receipts:

The impact doesn’t end there. When you swipe (RED), your customers can donate right from their emailed receipts to help deliver an AIDS FREE GENERATION. Every swipe can make a difference.

Last year the official (Product) RED Twitter account revealed that Apple’s contributions to the charity had reached $65 million, making it the largest contributor out of all participating companies. Apple currently sells red versions of the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch, iPad Smart Cover, and iPhone 4S bumper under the (PRODUCT)RED branding and donates a portion of profits to the charity. Most recently, Apple design guru Jony Ive and designer friend Marc Newson teamed up to assemble a one-of-a-kind collection to auction off for the charity.

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