While Apple under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs wasn't known for doing a lot of charity, one partnership that did find solid footing was with Bono's (PRODUCT) RED effort
The campaign was started in 2006 by the U2 singer and Bobby Shriver of ONE to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. To date, the licensing of the RED name has generated over $150 million for HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.
Along with other companies like Dell, Microsoft, and Starbucks, Apple has participated in RED by releasing several products over the years - including five generations of special edition iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle. The company's latest offering - a (PRODUCT) RED bumper for the iPhone 4/4S - was released this week for $29.
I know, I know - with everyone anxiously awaiting word on the next iPhone, a red bumper isn't the most exciting thing in the world. But it is an encouraging sign that Apple is sticking with the campaign and still contributing in some small way.
In a 2011 letter, only a few weeks after Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, Bono hit back at criticism over the company's lack of giving - calling their participation in RED as "invaluable."
"Through the sale of (RED) products, Apple has been (RED)’s largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — giving tens of millions of dollars that have transformed the lives of more than two million Africans through H.I.V. testing, treatment and counseling," he wrote. "This is serious and significant. And Apple’s involvement has encouraged other companies to step up."
"Steve Jobs said when we first approached him about (RED), 'There is nothing better than the chance to save lives.'"