Bono, the U2 frontman, appeared onstage for an interview this weekend at the Cannes Lions festival with Apple designer Jony Ive. The two spoke of their successful history together in raising money for The Global Fund to fight AIDS and Bono took the opportunity to criticize the company for downplaying its role.
The interview with Bono and Ive was summarized by the folks over at AdWeek, who noted that the singer used the platform to urge companies in attendance to aid his global nonprofit, (RED). Bono said that although Apple has raised more for his charity than anyone else, the company has consistently downplayed its involvement dating back to the start of the partnership involving late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.
Bono went as far as to call Apple “annoyingly quiet,” stating that the company doesn’t do enough to tout the fact that it has raised $75 million for The Global Fund. The singer also showed off an iPad with a (RED) Smart Case, and criticized Apple for only promoting the charity on the inside of the cover, where it won’t ever be seen when attached to an iPad. Bono said the following in front of Ive:
This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They're like a religious cult.
The (RED) charity revealed in April that Apple had contributed $70 million to the program to date. The Cupertino California company has raised more than any other company for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. While Bono was critical of Apple in the appearance, he publicly appraised the company and Jobs in the past. In 2011, Bono penned an editorial defending Jobs and his contributions to charity.
Last year, Ive and Bono teamed up with industrial designer Mac Newson to design several one-of-a-kind products for a (RED) benefit auction. Items included solid rose gold Apple EarPods, a red Mac Pro, and a completely custom Leica Digital Rangefinder. The Mac Pro ended up selling for nearly $1 million, making it the most expensive desktop PC ever built.