Apple's new red iPhones won't be (RED) in China; here's a few possible reasons why


Apple on Tuesday announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus PRODUCT(RED) models. The two special-edition devices are identical to the regular iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in terms of hardware, but feature unique red backplates and, what's more important, a chunk of all proceeds from each device sale goes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

The two special-edition iPhone 7 models are going on sale in China as well, where registrations for their launch have surpassed the number of available units, but they won't be carrying the (RED) branding in the region. The phones will otherwise look the same, sporting the same red backplates, but they will be sold as merely a color option to the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and not carry the charitable nature of PRODUCT(RED) devices sold in other regions.

Apple's China retail page currently lists the new iPhones without the PRODUCT(RED) branding, which strongly suggests that handsets sold in the region will not be a part of the charity initiative. There is currently no official information from Apple as to why the branding was dropped, but there are various factors at play that could have affected the decision.


The PRODCUT(RED) iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are not Apple's first products in the line. There was the (RED) iPod some years ago, as well as the similarly charity-oriented Mac Pro

China is known for its strict control over media and messages, and HIV/AIDS remain a controversial subject in the country. Despite the presence of HIV/AIDS being low in China, with less than 0.1% of the current population being affected, aid agencies are often warning of a possible crisis in the future, due to the government's negligence of the subject and the stigma surrounding homosexuality in the country.

Apple may just be trying to navigate a difficult sociopolitical terrain with a product that is otherwise guaranteed to sell in China based on color alone. After being accused by the Chinese government of illegally tracking users in 2014 — a claim that has since been debunked — and getting some of its online services shut down in the country last year, the company may just be trying to avoid complications in a notoriously difficult market dominated by local brands.

Apple has not yet responded to requests for comment on the situation.

source: Apple via BBC, Fortune

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11 Comments

1. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Will it still be $100 increase?

8. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

What increase? Its just a new freaking color. There was never a price increase. The difference is, its not offered in the 32gb version.

2. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"Despite the presence of HIV/AIDS being low in China, with less than 0.1% of the current population being affected" 0.1% of china's population is still alot :-/

7. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Indeed. That makes 100k effected people.

3. Cat97

Posts: 1861; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Who cares. This is a marketing stunt, not a genuine desire to fight against some disease.

9. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

No, just releasing the phone in a new color would be a big enough marketing stunt. but they're bothering to donate to a good cause, so regardless of their intentions, it's a good thing in my book.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Not a marketing stunt by any means. 10 cents from everyone sold goes to aids research lol.

4. sukrith2194 unregistered

I think PA bashed one plus for selling the black OP3T without the Collete branding a few days back... And in this they managed to take time to explain why apple opted not to put red branding on it! Apple will strike the branding off and sell it as regular iPhone and not even a single penny might go to the charity! I'll believe this unless proved otherwise!

5. SmartPhoneMobiles

Posts: 176; Member since: Oct 16, 2016

MG how is dis special?? I can buy all freakin color spectrum from aliex for the any iphone..! Dis is for stupid ppl..

6. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Apple can include Mao's little red book with every red iPhone sold and a sizable amount of the proceeds will be donated to the PRC. China then stops harassing Apple.

11. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Apple could still make a donation to red on behalf of the people who bought red phones in China.

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