Apple has contributed $65 million to (PRODUCT) RED through sponsored products

Apple is leading contributions to RED, an organisation focused on beating Aids, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide, raising $65 million through its products for the RED foundation.

Apple has long been associated with RED. Bono, the U2 frontman and one of RED's early backers, this month told participants at the Word Economic Forum's launch of its annual Global Competitiveness Index: "Apple is certainly leading the crew."

RED says it has raised $215 million to date, impacting 14 million people. Apple looks to have contributed a sizeable chunk.

Apple offers a slew of (PRODUCT) RED sponsored products, including the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod touch, and iPhone and iPad cases. It started its partnership with Bono and Co in October 2006 with the introduction of the special-edition red 4GB iPod nano, which retailed for $199 with $10 from each one sold going to RED. Most recently, Apple has added a $39 leather iPhone 5S case that carries the RED branding.

Nike, American Express (UK), Starbucks, Converse, Beats Electronics, and others also take part in the orginisation. Each partner company creates a product with the Product Red logo, and a percentage of the profit gained is donated to the Global Fund.

We have to wonder how much Apple could raise for RED if it offered a version of its iPhone. We last heard rumours in 2008 with the iPhone 3G.

Apple designer Sir Jonathan Ive has partnered with Bono and RED to auction off a pair of gold iPhone earbuds at Sotheby’s New York on 23 November.