It all started with a red iPod Nano. Eleven years, too many products to count and $160 million in donations later, Apple has unveiled its latest PRODUCT(RED) special edition– the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

We travelled to New York this week to see the glossy red phones in person and to chat with Apple’s VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak, (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan and (RED) global ambassador Phoebe Robinson. That our interviews are taking place on National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day isn’t lost on the room. “Every two minutes a teen gets HIV,” says Dugan. “Every two minutes. And so the awareness is really, really important.”

Apple is (RED)’s biggest corporate sponsor, and a percentage of all PRODUCT(RED) sales go to The Global Fund, which is dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. 

Here’s what else you should know about this epic collab, which arrives in Canadian stores today.


They might just have the coolest ambassador on the planet. That would be comedian/actress Robinson, co-host of 2 Dope Queens podcast. Robinson actually asked to be a part of the campaign. “They were like, ‘ yeah, we’re game,” she says. “AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, which is shocking. And I’m a young woman as well, so that’s a figure that’s very close to my heart. The phone is also a great conversation starter because it’s gorgeous.”




So gorgeous, in fact, it’s seriously making us reconsider our love of rose gold everything. Is it cherry red? Or candy apple red? Perhaps crimson? “It’s just a beautiful, beautiful red,” says Joswiak. “We’re blessed with an amazing design team, led by Jony Ive…Last year we thought we did really well with the iPhone 7 special edition. And we think we’ve exceeded it this year. We think that the glass back of the iPhone 8 is just stunning, and the red tone is just, I hate to use the word perfect. How many products can you buy that are beautiful both in design and in purpose?”


Yes, let’s recap that fact. An undisclosed amount of all PRODUCT(RED) Apple merch goes to The Global Fund. In addition to the phones, this year, there are 20 accesssories, such as a red leather portfolio case for the iPhone X, Beats headphones and iPad covers, etc. The goal, says Dugan, is to eliminate mother-child transmission of the disease by 2020 and eradicate it completely by 2030. “There’s still a lot of work to be done—specifically targeting women and girls is a big thing right now for The Global Fund because it will make a difference in the infectious disease,” she says, noting that if anyone can help accomplish these changes it’s today’s youth. “Where you’re born shouldn’t determine whether you live or die. Those things are just common things that we could all agree on, that this generation has no time or tolerance for ignoring that.”






The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus PRODUCT(RED) special editions (From $929, at Image: courtesy of Apple