Apple has had a long relationship with Bono's PRODUCT (RED) charity, selling (RED) versions of some of its products for years. After Tim Cook became CEO in 2011, Apple expanded its participation in the annual World AIDS Day, noted every year on December 1.
In 2011, Apple turned the logos in some of its stores red, promoted the (RED) special editions of Apple's iPod nano and a special iTunes gift card, and outfitted store staffers with special red shirts. 2012 and 2013 saw similar changes, with Apple coloring store logos and featuring its (RED) cases prominently in-store.
For 2014, however, Apple is expanding its World AIDS Day efforts even further.
On Black Friday this week, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Apple plans to give buyers of select Apple products a special (PRODUCT) RED iTunes Gift Card along with a donation from Apple to the Global Fund to support the fight against AIDS.
Apple will offer (RED) iTunes gift cards for the following products purchased at its retail stores or on the Apple Online Store:
- iPhone: $50 (excluding $0 down purchases through AT&T Next)
- iPad: $50
- Mac: $100
- iPod: $25
- Apple TV: $25
- Beats: $25
Purchases of Apple's latest iPhone and iPad units (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3) are limited to two gift cards per household — and the whole promotion is "while supplies last."
On top of the gift cards on Black Friday, Apple will also donate a portion of every sale made at Apple's online and retail stores on December 1st, World AIDS Day, and Cyber Monday.
Finally, Apple has partnered with a number of App Store developers to release special (RED) features and content across two dozen prominent apps, including Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, Clear, Cut the Rope 2, Djay 2, GarageBand, Monument Valley, Paper by FiftyThree, Star Walk 2, and Threes!
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who publicly came out as gay earlier this year and has increased Apple's corporate activism on social issues across a number of fronts since taking over as CEO, said in a press release that Apple is supporting (RED) because the company believes "the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give."
A special section on the App Store will showcase all the customized (RED) apps (and their special red icons) for two weeks.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.