Apple is set to embark upon one of its largest philanthropic efforts ever. Starting this week, the company is launching a massive AIDS fundraising campaign for Product RED in partnership with some of the largest app developers in the iTunes App Store. During the two-week period from now through December 7th, money spent on qualifying apps or in-app purchases will be entirely donated to the AIDS-fighting charity — neither developers nor Apple will take a cut.
The program is called "Apps for RED." Popular apps like Garageband, Clear, Monument Valley, FarmVille 2, Angry Birds, Threes, Paper, Cut the Rope, FIFA 15, Rayman Fiesta Run, The Sims, and several more are offering special RED-branded content or app updates as part of the fundraiser. All of the money provided to RED will be given to its partner, The Global Fund, to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
The fundraising campaign isn't limited to apps, however. Apple says it will donate a percentage of all sales in its retail and online stores to the charity on December 1st, World AIDS Day. That day also happens to be "Cyber Monday," a major shopping day in the US.
A portion of all Cyber Monday sales at Apple Stores will go to RED
Apple didn't specify how much it would give for each purchase, though according to an Apple representative quoted in a USA Today article, a single iMac purchased on December 1st would be enough to provide antiretroviral medicine to an HIV/AIDS patient for four months. In addition, on Black Friday, the single largest US shopping day of the year, Apple will give out RED iTunes gift cards to those who purchase qualifying hardware and donate a percentage to the charity for each card.
Traditionally, Apple hasn't had a reputation as a particularly philanthropic company, though it has had ties with RED for a number of years. Under Tim Cook, the company has shown a renewed focus on charitable efforts — in 2012 he showed great pride in the company's fundraising efforts for RED, and he even offered to sit down for coffee with a stranger for a charity auction. Apple says that its contributions to RED since 2006 have totaled nearly $75 million, and this latest effort should increase that number by quite a bit.