Apple is selling a special edition (PRODUCT) Red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The devices have been released in a red aluminium finish to mark 10 years partnership between Apple and Red, a charity looking to fight AIDS and was founded by U2 front-man Bono and activist Bobby Shiver. The two models will be sold in China, however, Apple’s official website makes no mention of the (PRODUCT) Red branding.
When the landing page was translated from Mandarin to English, Apple’s China website simply read, “now in Red”. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese page used the words “product” Red similar to the US and other regions. This strongly suggests that China, in particular, will be the only country where the phones will not be a part of the noble initiative. Apple has so far stated no reason as to why the (PRODUCT) Red branding is missing from the handsets.
One possible reason is that HIV/AIDS is a big public and health issue. China has received a lot of flak for handling HIV/AIDS situation in the country. This may itself explain why Apple dropped the Red branding from the handsets. It can be a business move, which is not surprising, given the fact that the iPhone is a status symbol in China.
One should also remember that Apple has faced a number of challenges and regulatory hurdles in China. Back in December, Apple removed apps from The New York Times from its app store in China. The company also faced censorship in China when authorities closed down its iBooks store and iTunes Movies.
At the same time, Apple has been facing tough to expand its market share in the world’s second-largest economy. Apple fell to the No. 4 position by shipments last year, according to IDC. The company is finding it hard to compete with several local Chinese players such as Oppo, Vivo and Huawei.
It’s possible that Apple wants to stay away from the bad light. Which is why Apple is making no mention of the cause or charity- and simply promoting a red version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.