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Apple may be planning red iPod to help fight AIDS

post #1 of 41
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Activist and rock singer Bono may soon partner with Apple Computer on a red-colored iPod to help promote a new project aimed at battling AIDS, according to reports.

The U2 frontman last week unveiled the project, dubbed Product Red, at the Davos World Economic Forum, as first reported by Macworld UK.

The charity hopes to raise money to help finance the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa by persuading the world's biggest companies to release special Product Red-branded goods, giving part of the profits to the fighting fund.

The news has sparked rumors that Bono may have applied a little leverage in his relationship with Apple chief executive Steve Jobs to persuade the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker to release a Product Red-branded iPod.

The rumors first emerged when a note in the January 20th edition of the popular celebrity gossip newsletter, Popbitch, reported that the singer was overheard at Dublin's Michelin-starred Patrick Guilbaud restaurant "discussing a new charity red Am Ex card and red iPod."

Last week the rumors gained considerable momentum when Bono announced an initial list of corporations that have agreed to specially design merchandise for the cause, including Gap, Converse, Giorgio Armani and American Express.

True to rumors, the latter corporation announced a new, no-fee credit card in the UK called American Express RED3. For every pound spent on the card, American Express promises to donate a minimum of 1 percent to the Product Red charity.

"American Express RED will be the first credit card to meet payment needs of a new and growing group of individuals termed 'Conscience Consumers'," American Express said in a statement. "These are consumers who make decisions about the brands they purchase based on their social, ethical, and environmental values."

Apple has reportedly declined to comment on the "rumors and speculation" of a red iPod.

Meanwhile, AppleInsider continues to hear rumblings that the iPod maker is planning a special music event or announcement later this month to introduce new iPods and other music products suspiciously omitted from the company's opening keynote presentation at Macworld in January.

If Apple is indeed planning a Product Red-branded iPod, such an event would likely serve as an ideal launch-pad for the device.
post #2 of 41
I thinka red iPod would be awesome.
It would very much inspire me to get a Fifth Gen iPod instead of waiting for the 6th Generation.
I am sure a red iPod would be real stylish and a new colour for the eye
(Still got a 40 GB 4th Gen which is more than enough really)
post #3 of 41
Is it more scratch resistant?

Does it have longer battery life?

Does is reintroduce FireWire as a connection option?

Does it include an A/C Adapter?

No. Then, who cares. It's red. Big deal.

(Noble cause. Just have Apple donate to the charity.)
post #4 of 41
initiator- way to make a first impression.



i think it would be a great idea if apple got involved and released a special red ipod.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by initiator
Is it more scratch resistant?

Does it have longer battery life?

Does is reintroduce FireWire as a connection option?

Does it include an A/C Adapter?

No. Then, who cares. It's red. Big deal.

(Noble cause. Just have Apple donate to the charity.)

If im not mistaken, i think the point of the Red iPod is to help fight AIDS. The iPod might not be different, but its for a good cause. I understand this, but maybe its because i have a heart:-)
post #6 of 41
The company that brings you a virus free OS now brings new awareness to fighting a deadly virus...!

good PR
post #7 of 41
I apologize if I came off as insensitive. That wasn't my point. I'm all for good causes, and contrary to popular belief I do have a heart. We should raise money for AIDS charities. That's a good thing. My point was the hoopla over a change in the color of the iPod, seemed a bit much. I thought the same thing about the black iPod. I mean it's the same iPod, it's just a different color. That's all.
post #8 of 41
I think doing this would be a great for Apple's brand. Apple would be associated with Bono and U2. And with a good cause. And with a group of high-value brand names. And at what cost? 1% 5% 10% of revenue. Or maybe Apple will only sell it through its website and its own stores. Or even strike a deal with one retailer like Target and get Target to throw in some percentage.

Oh, and if someone wants to be seen as being for a good cause, carrying a red iPod would symbolize that. (Even if you just wanted a red iPod and couldn't care less about diseases and Africa, you'd take the good vibes.)

So it just seems like a win all-around.

And will we soon hear about a red Xbox 360?
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post #9 of 41
Definitely good PR... I didn't buy one, but when I was in the Apple Store the black-and-red U2 iPod was pretty striking. I wonder how they would make this one look--would the face be red and the click-wheel be black (or white)? Or would it be all red?
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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
The company that brings you a virus free OS now brings new awareness to fighting a deadly virus...!

good PR

LOL. Seriously this is a great idea even though I'm not crazy for a red colored iPod at all.
post #11 of 41
hey...um...red ipods don't really stop aids.
post #12 of 41
A great cause--and if it's a pure primary red, it would be a really cool looking 'Pod too!
post #13 of 41
A red iPod could look awesome, it would be something different. i reckon the iPod nano will become the red iPod. Heres what i reckon it will/should look like.

post #14 of 41
Fugly.

If they want to donate to AIDS charities, then give money from the Black iPod sales. They'll be way higher anyway.

The red looks hideous. I completely agree with initiator's original post. They ought to make the new iPod a compelling buy for people, THEN give the money to charity. Just throwing red dye into the plastic mix is hardly a way of saying "Hey, let's get serious about raising some money for this cause"
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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Fugly.

If they want to donate to AIDS charities, then give money from the Black iPod sales. They'll be way higher anyway.

They could just donate money from all sales. That or just singling out an existing product doesn't help raise awareness of the issue.

Quote:
The red looks hideous. I completely agree with initiator's original post. They ought to make the new iPod a compelling buy for people, THEN give the money to charity. Just throwing red dye into the plastic mix is hardly a way of saying "Hey, let's get serious about raising some money for this cause"

Apparently, the iPod is already a compelling buy for people.
post #16 of 41
I'm sorry, but I believe this is a bad idea. First of all, you don't know where is your money going: I visited the official "red product" website, and it's still empty, without any real details about how they plan to help fight AIDS (oh yes, they have a "facts" page, but if that's the facts, I prefer to donate the money myself, to programs with proper information and a detailed strategy).

This policy of "we're a rich company but we've a good heart because we donate 1% of the ugliest iPod we released and we join U2 for being so kewl", is just stupid, and it should damage the image of Apple rather than improving it.

But given that most of the people looks pleased about the idea... it seems I'm alone here.
post #17 of 41
Hmmm... what do you want to bet that Apple is buying some add time for this years superbowl?
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by sockit2me
Hmmm... what do you want to bet that Apple is buying some add time for this years superbowl?


Wouldn't that be a great way of stealthy introduction of a new product. Out of the blue like a bolt of lightning is the i****!

It would get all of the media attention even if it isn't the red ipod!

It would be all over the news and would be BAM right in the middle of America's living room!
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
Wouldn't that be a great way of stealthy introduction of a new product. Out of the blue like a bolt of lightning is the i****!

It would get all of the media attention even if it isn't the red ipod!

It would be all over the news and would be BAM right in the middle of America's living room!

Especially if the announcment is geared towards the living room, yes?

Your entire target market will be watching. I've always thought that that was the real reason they held off on announcments at Macworld. They knew it wouldn't be ready until after the superbowl and they knew they'd be able to drum up a ton of publicity if they announce a brand new platform, a la 1984.

The iRemote. The thing you pick up when you put your iPod down. It's coming.
post #20 of 41
How many days before a special event does Apple send out the invitations to the Media??
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkDifferent
How many days before a special event does Apple send out the invitations to the Media??

I think it's been somewhere around 6-8 business days.
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post #22 of 41
The proceeds would likely go toward programs to educate at-risk people about AIDS and fund research to find a cure.
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post #23 of 41
I could see Apple opting to release a special 'skin' for the Nano and iPod's instead. That way they don't have to mess with the 'purity' of the Black & White product line up, and can actually potentially INCREASE the donation amount by making the accessory cheap enough to be accessible to everyone.

Just a thought.
post #24 of 41
It's just a feel good thing. It makes people who would buy one feel like their $0.47 cents is really making a difference.

So here you go and buy a red iPod, show it off to all your friends, while patting yourself on the back for "helping the fight against AIDS".

If you really want to make a difference. Don't buy the iPod and write out a check to an existing AIDS charity for the $400.00

That would make a difference.

But, if you want a symbol that you can carry around proclaiming your fight against AIDS (because of your miniscule donation through the purchase), then by all means buy it!

It is absolutely abominal to commercialize the Fight against AIDS in this manner!
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by kresh
It's just a feel good thing. It makes people who would buy one feel like their $0.47 cents is really making a difference.

So here you go and buy a red iPod, show it off to all your friends, while patting yourself on the back for "helping the fight against AIDS".

If you really want to make a difference. Don't buy the iPod and write out a check to an existing AIDS charity for the $400.00

That would make a difference.

But, if you want a symbol that you can carry around proclaiming your fight against AIDS (because of your miniscule donation through the purchase), then by all means buy it!

It is absolutely abominal to commercialize the Fight against AIDS in this manner!

I agree with you 100%. If the CEO believes this is ethically right, I think I'm going to change the opinion I've about Apple as a company.
post #26 of 41
Unless Apple donates all profits from the sale to the fund.

Then put out the ipod as a limited edition.

recoup the manufacturing costs and create good will and press.
post #27 of 41
Anybody seen the list of ad-buyers? I didn't see them on the list unless they used a front company.
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post #28 of 41
I don't why some people have a problem with these branding initiatives. What difference does it make if one person gives $400 to an AIDS charity or if 133 people buy a red video ipod which donates 1% of sales to the charity. Say they give 1% and sell a million of the Red ipods, that would yield 3 Million dollars to the charity. That will make a difference at least to some people. I think you will also find that these types of purchases are in addition to, not in lieu of a person's charitable contributions and are a way to raise additional funds for the charities. If 1 million people get red american express cards and each spend an average of $5000 a year, that's an extra 50 million for the charity. Even if each individual does not do much, if millions do a little, it will make a HUGE impact and at virtually no extra cost to the consumer.
post #29 of 41
In addition, I think those of you who think "this is an abomination" have not investigated BONO's work on this issue. Ultimately, BONO has been working to relieve 3rd world debt as a path to battling disease (AIDS, Malaria etc.) in these countries by making their governments economically capable of providing drug programs and basic services.

During the U2 tour, he asks people to simply 'sign' a digital petition adding their name in support of such initiatives.

While this RED effort is certainly more directly related to providing REAL funding, the bottom line is that HIGH-PROFILE devices like the iPod, or cards like AMERICAN EXPRESS provide increased 'awareness' and raise the likelihood that ALL people will give, vote, and call for policies to solve these problems.

So, while 3% of the average iPod sale might not be a lot compared to that same person giving the entire price of the iPod directly to charity, the aggregate effect is that MORE money actually goes to the charity through product sales AND the ancillary benefit of increased awareness.
post #30 of 41
If Steve Jobs gives green light to this project, I'll begin to see the Apple logo not as a symbol of good technology for creative people, but as a weak ideal of ethics that I disagree with. It's not the first time that Steve Jobs does stupid stuff in this fashion, so this might be the final thing I need for changing my mind about what the fruit logo stands for.

You know, if there was a computer vendor that admits having an "official ideology" behind them, making their corporative image (logos/etc) stand for such ideology, it would be natural to feel uncomfortable when you buy one of their products. Apple hasn't arrived to this level yet, but it's in the path, and will arrive to it unless the CEO stops these stupid ideas.
post #31 of 41
Since when is it unethical to donate to charity? When Apple put links to the Red Cross on their webpage after the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina was that unethical too? Ooooh, they are a company so they shouldn't do this? Apple sold a lot of U2 iPods even to those who don't like U2 simply because it looked different and was a limited edition. You weren't complaining then. Yet now they can do the same thing with at least some of the money will go to charity and you're freaking out about it. What's the problem? I'll bet the people complaining about this don't give money to charity anyways.

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post #32 of 41
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by ecs
If Steve Jobs gives green light to this project, I'll begin to see the Apple logo not as a symbol of good technology for creative people, but as a weak ideal of ethics that I disagree with. It's not the first time that Steve Jobs does stupid stuff in this fashion, so this might be the final thing I need for changing my mind about what the fruit logo stands for.

You know, if there was a computer vendor that admits having an "official ideology" behind them, making their corporative image (logos/etc) stand for such ideology, it would be natural to feel uncomfortable when you buy one of their products. Apple hasn't arrived to this level yet, but it's in the path, and will arrive to it unless the CEO stops these stupid ideas.

Since when is donating money a bad thing?
Even if SJ does only do it for the extra sales and good light, that doesn't make it a bad thing.
If they do it, it's a win-win situation. Would you rather them donate no money towards fighting AIDS?
I believe if they do release a product like this they should donate ALL profits to charity, but you can't really change that if it turns out otherwise. Hey, even 1%'s better than 0%.
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post #34 of 41
1-There's no detailed information about how these people help to fight AIDS. All organizations with good reputation provide details about their strategy. The only reputable name here is "Bono", or "U2". Sincerely, I don't know why I should trust Bono more than a pharmaceutical business.

2-The fight against AIDS is a very politiced cause. Different parties have very different numbers in their statistics, showing that at least somebody is lying. Because of this, if you have a project against AIDS, you're entering the field of ideologies, even if you didn't want that, because nobody has won the fight against AIDS, and there're a lot of hidden interests there.

3-Donating money to charity can be bad: There're certain cases where money arrives to an undesired purpose.

4-It is unethical to base your strategy in making your customers feel "special" because they own an item whose color "proves" that he/she is a charitable person.

5-If, at the end, the Apple logo becomes a symbol of some ideology, I won't be able to see it as a creative technology business anymore.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by ecs
1-There's no detailed information about how these people help to fight AIDS. All organizations with good reputation provide details about their strategy. The only reputable name here is "Bono", or "U2". Sincerely, I don't know why I should trust Bono more than a pharmaceutical business.

2-The fight against AIDS is a very politiced cause. Different parties have very different numbers in their statistics, showing that at least somebody is lying. Because of this, if you have a project against AIDS, you're entering the field of ideologies, even if you didn't want that, because nobody has won the fight against AIDS, and there're a lot of hidden interests there.

3-Donating money to charity can be bad: There're certain cases where money arrives to an undesired purpose.

4-It is unethical to base your strategy in making your customers feel "special" because they own an item whose color "proves" that he/she is a charitable person.

5-If, at the end, the Apple logo becomes a symbol of some ideology, I won't be able to see it as a creative technology business anymore.

1 - You are right, detailed information should be forthcoming. Still, Bono has done more to raise the issue than anyone else, and has also convinced the G8 countries to forgive crushing debt of afflicted countries. He's been promoting causes like Amnesty International for over two decades, so it isn't as if is social awareness simply popped up out of nowhere.
2 - Everyone has estimates. Estimates aren't necessarily lies. It is impossible to count everyone, I don't even think getting accurate estimates is a realistic expectation here.
3 - That's true, but I don't think it would necessarily be the case for such a high profile. While the money might be wasted, I doubt it would go towards anything like the Final Solution.
4 - see 5
5 - The Apple logo has been a symbol of one ideology or another for decades. There are people that think they are special because they own Apple products, and seemingly, there is always someone rushing to defend any stupid thing they do because Apple is never wrong. You probably think I am doing that right now, but I don't know. I currently think that judgement should be withheld to get the specifics..
post #36 of 41
I have never understood the point of padding the prices of anything - iPods, toilet paper or lemonade - with charitable donations. If I want to give for some purpose then I give explicitly, kthx. If I go to an electronics store or a food store, I want electronics and food.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by ecs
1-There's no detailed information about how these people help to fight AIDS. All organizations with good reputation provide details about their strategy. The only reputable name here is "Bono", or "U2". Sincerely, I don't know why I should trust Bono more than a pharmaceutical business.

That's because you don't look for it.

Google "bono hiv." First thing that came up was http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife/...ono_aids.shtml

Welcome to 1995. You can perform web searches. Neato.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM

3 - That's true, but I don't think it would necessarily be the case for such a high profile. While the money might be wasted, I doubt it would go towards anything like the Final Solution.

Actually, this is a problem with the money Bono and Bush have raised...a lot of it is funneled through "faith-based" channels that preach abstinence rather than safe sex practices, and spend a lot more time spreading Christianity in general than specifically working to reduce HIV transmissions.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by gregmightdothat
Actually, this is a problem with the money Bono and Bush have raised...a lot of it is funneled through "faith-based" channels that preach abstinence rather than safe sex practices, and spend a lot more time spreading Christianity in general than specifically working to reduce HIV transmissions.

Voila!! You proved me right: One can't fight against AIDS without choosing an ideology, because first of all nobody defeated AIDS yet, and second, different parties defend that the best way to fight is different from the strategies of other parties. As I said, the fight against AIDS has a lot of hidden interests. Everybody, political parties, the right, the left, religions, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the gay lobby have hidden interests here. You can't defend this cause without joining somebody, even if you didn't pretend so.

Regarding your advice for searching the web for Bono... well that's not my obligation: Apple (and the Red product thing) is the one who is obliged to inform their customers if they decide to support Bono.
post #40 of 41
user Initiator can claim a red iPod is not a big deal, but he's wrong. Marketing is an art form, and Apple has had great success in using design factors, including color, to add "value" to their products.
Apple has shown discipline in releasing colors, and by doing so they've made colors valuable. You can be bitter that they are prolonging the life of a product, enhancing it with very little expense - but you can't blame them for using it to their advantage. They've consciously designed and maintained an evolving product. Instead of bashing it maybe you should have bought the stock. A company that can sell something just by painting it red? Makes sense to me.
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