Apple’s past Black Friday deals in the US were never anything major – usually small discounts that covered sales tax and not much else. For last year’s annual shopping holiday, the company moved to free gift cards with purchase, and this year was more of the same. But this past Black Friday, US customer purchases also raised money for the AIDS-fighting nonprofit (RED) and The Global Fund – more than US$20 million in total.
In an email to Apple employees first reported by Re/code, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company has raised more than US$100 million for (RED) since first partnering with the Bono-led nonprofit in 2006. Apple donated a percentage of (RED)-branded iTunes gift cards that were handed out with select Black Friday purchases and on Cyber Monday (which was also World AIDS Day), the company donated a portion of every online and in-store sale. That holiday fundraising push alone generated more than 20 percent of the total amount Apple has raised for The Global Fund in eight years. Not too shabby.
Apple also enlisted developers to help out with the two-week-long fundraising effort. Games like Threes!, Monument Valley, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood created virtual items for sale in-app to benefit (RED), and purchases of select non-gaming apps like GarageBand, Clear and Over were also donated to the nonprofit.
“The money we’ve raised is saving lives and bringing hope to people in need,” Cook said in his email, according to Re/code. “It’s a cause we can all be proud to support.”