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Forget the iPhone 8, we’re getting a (RED) iPhone now

(RED), glorious red.

Yes, you can buy a ruby red iPhone 7 and feel pretty damn good about it, too.

Apple is finally bringing iPhone into the (RED) fold a decade after it first started producing special edition, red-clad devices to help promote and fund Product (RED)’s efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.

"This is the biggest day in our 10-year partnership," said (RED) CEO Deb Dugan, adding that "it’s a dream come true."

Starting in 2006 with the iPod Nano Special Edition (RED), Apple has produced everything from (RED) Beats headphones to (RED) Smart Battery cases, but never the apex product, never the one that still drives most of Apple’s considerable profits.

Choosing to finally do a (RED) iPhone is "a nice recognition of our partnership with the (RED) team in fighting HIV and Aids," said Apple VP of Marketing Greg Joswiak.

As with all previous Apple (RED) products, a portion of every sale goes to directly to The Global Fund. The non-profit organization helps finance HIV/AIDS grants in more than half-a-dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus far, Apple has donated $130 million to the cause, a contribution, said Dugan, that is more than many countries have contributed.

Image: apple

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Special Edition (RED)

Image: apple

With a shiny white front.

AIDS and HIV remain, according to Dugan, the worst health crisis on the planet. 35 million have died and 37 million are infected and it is still the number one killer of women on the planet.

However, "I’m optimistic because we’ve seen from the time that we’ve been with Apple that more than 18 million people have effective treatment," said Dugan.

Dugan said she never asked Apple to make a (RED) iPhone. "Quite frankly, they’re always so provocative and creative. We wait to hear from Apple on what idea they’ll have next."

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Special Edition (RED) will come in 128 GB and 256 GB configurations (iPhone 7, $749 and $849; iPhone 7 Plus, $869 and $969). The brushed aluminum back will be red and the front white (a combination last seen in red velvet moon pies). Apple’s logo remains silver. Joswiak said Apple fans should expect no other differences between these models and current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices.

Starting this Friday, the (RED) iPhones will be available wherever Apple sells the iPhone (online and at retail). As for supplies of the (RED) iPhone, Joswiak told us Apple plans to make "a bunch," but wouldn’t say how long they’d be in market or exactly how many are available.

Apple will also try to educate consumers on why these new iPhones are red.

Image: apple

Apple iPhone 7 Special Edition (RED) with packaging.

"The Apple stores have this incredible sense of pride for what we’ve been doing with the (RED) team," said Joswiak.

Sales people will explain the work Product (RED) does and how a portion of the sale goes directly to the fight against HIV and AIDS. Joswiak couldn’t tell us how much of each sale goes to (RED), saying only that it varies by channel.

Even with all that Product (RED) and Apple have done together since 2006, both seem aware that this particular collaboration could be, well, bigger.

"Having Apple make this very big statement, it takes our breath away," said Dugan.