updated 03:30 pm EST, Thu February 2, 2006
Apple to combat AIDS
U2's Bono may partner with Apple on a new red iPod in the near future to help promote a new project to battle AIDS. The charity is designed to raise money to help finance the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Africa, and hopes to convince the world's largest companies to release special red-branded products while offering a portion of the profits to the fund. The news sparked rumors that Bono may have applied leverage in his relationship with Apple CEO Steve Jobs to persuade the executive to release a product red-branded iPod. Last week the rumors were fuelled when Bono announced an initial list of corporations that have agreed to specially design merchandise for the cause which included Gap, Converse, Giorgio Armani, and American Express. Confirming one rumor, American Express recently announced a new, no-fee credit card in the U.K. dubbed American Express RED3. For every pound spent on the card, American Express has promised to donate a minimum of one 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 stated. "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, according to AppleInsider. Rumors continue to circulate that Apple is planning a special music event or announcement later this month to introduce new iPods and other music products which many believe were left unannounced at the Macworld Expo in January.