What Does (PRODUCT)RED Mean on Apple Products?

Ever wondered what (PRODUCT)RED is all about when you see it on an Apple product? Here’s a quick explainer.

closeup on red iphone camera

Red is one of the standard colors available in Apple’s iPhone lineup. Apple also offers red accessories, such as iPhone cases and Apple Watch straps. But if you have a red Apple product, flip it around. Do you see the (PRODUCT)RED printed on the back? Ever wondered what that was about?

We’ll look at the meaning of (PRODUCT)RED below.

How (PRODUCT)RED Started

(PRODUCT)RED is a licensing brand from (RED), a New York-based organization established by Bobby Shriver and U2’s lead vocalist, Bono.

(RED) is also a division of The ONE Campaign, a worldwide movement that seeks to end preventable disease and severe poverty through lobbying and grassroots campaigns.

(RED) partners with many large companies like Apple, Nike, and Amazon to release (RED)-branded products. Its objective is to garner funds through consumerism. For example, if you purchased a red-colored iPhone, a portion of the profits is given to (RED) to support various causes.

In short, buying (PRODUCT)RED products means some of your money goes to support charity.

What Causes Does (RED) Support?

red iphone 7 next to black headphones on wooden desk

Money raised from (RED) products is donated to The Global Fund, a partnership between the public and private sectors to end AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

(RED)’s contributions are specifically invested in fighting the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, the scope has also expanded to include The Global Fund’s efforts in fighting COVID-19.


Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED Contributions

Through its partnership with (RED), Apple states that it has raised a total of almost $270 million for the organization since 2006. The money was directed towards testing, prevention, and counseling services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Grants supported by Apple also helped provide care and support services for over 11 million people and supplied over 192 million HIV tests.

Related: Charity Apps to Do Good, Donate, and Make a Difference in the World

The spread of COVID has led to all of us finding ways to combat the disease in everyday life. For ongoing HIV/AIDS programs, the challenge was even greater, as access to care, important supplies, and diagnostics became more difficult. Therefore, Apple’s donations also served as a financial aid for local medical providers in Zambia and Ghana.

Is (PRODUCT)RED Truly the Solution?

Based on its positive statistics, the (PRODUCT)RED brand seems to be an awesome model: utilizing people’s enjoyment from shopping to save the world. But is the solution towards poverty and AIDS that simple—just buy a specific-colored product? (RED) isn’t all that picture-perfect as it has its critics as well.

red iphone placed on black crinkle paper shreds
6 Problems With (PRODUCT)RED

You’ll often see (PRODUCT)RED devices and accessories marketed as an ethical option, but they haven’t been free from criticism.

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