Apple VP explains (PRODUCT) RED iPod and iTunes Gift Card

In an interview with iLounge this morning, Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak answered several questions regarding the company’s decision to release the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition, and matching, specially designed iTunes Gift Card.

On why Apple became involved with (RED): According to Joswiak, the effort to create a Special Edition iPod for the cause was led “by both Bono and Bobby Shriver,” founders of (RED), who consider the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa a “very important cause.” Proceeds from sales of (RED) branded products go directly to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which focuses its investments in AIDS programs, especially for women and children. Bono has described AIDS as the “greatest health crisis in 600 years,” and has aided in efforts to convince several leading companies to sell special (PRODUCT) RED offerings.

On the gains to Apple and (RED) from the release of the new iPod nano: Joswiak noted that Apple’s and (RED)‘s goals are to create “sustaining revenue and increased awareness” through the (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition campaign, and Apple has “not set any end date” for the product. The company will produce as many Special Edition red nanos as consumers demand, with availability beginning today.

On additional Apple contributions to the (RED) effort: Joswiak noted that a (PRODUCT) RED iTunes Gift Card will be available in November. The card will be “designed to match the (PRODUCT) RED campaign,” and Apple will donate 10% of revenues from each gift card purchase to (PRODUCT) RED. It will be available in a $25 denomination.

The iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition comes in packaging almost identical to the standard iPod nano box, save for its red print and PRODUCT (RED) Special Edition markings. As with other Special Edition iPods, etching on the nano’s back indicates its special status.

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