As a demonstration of Apple’s low-key philanthropy, the company will mark the occasion of World AIDS Day in its retail stores on December 1st by spotlighting special (RED) products that generate donations to fight AIDS in Africa. Apple created the (RED) product line in 2006 as part of a global charity campaign spearheaded by musician Bono. According to sources, on Thursday a select group of Specialists will be wearing and promoting the (RED) iPod nano, with a portion of the $129/$149 price going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Also, managers and store greeters who normally carry iPads for work will have (RED) Smart Covers protecting the devices. On the product shelves, signs will promote the Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD Headphones that are also part of the (RED) product line. There is also a special (RED) iTunes gift card available in the stores. Apple initially said 10 percent of (RED) gift card purchases would go to the charity, but now does not disclose how much of (RED) product purchases is donated to the Global Fund. The company also doesn’t disclose how much it contributes to charities overall. Apple is occasionally criticized by activists who say the company doesn’t contribute enough to charities, especially in light of its $74 billion in cash. Last September the company announced it would match employee charitable contributions, up to $10,000 per person annually. Within a month employees reportedly donated $1.3 million to charities, all matched by Apple. You can donate directly to the Global Fund without purchasing an Apple product.
In 2007 Oprah visited the North Michigan Avenue store with Bono to celebrate the introduction of (RED) products.E-mail this story