Bono takes frustrations out on Ive


In an odd bit of on-stage irony, Bono gave broad praise to an audience of strangers and reserved his most pointed criticism for the old friend seated nearby: Apple design guru Jony Ive.

“One of the reasons it’s such a credit to have Jony Ive on the stage,” Bono told panel moderator and Vice CEO Shane Smith, “is because Apple is so fucking annoyingly quiet about the fact they’ve raised $75 million. Nobody knows!”

Bono went so far as to stand up, pull out an official (Red) iPad cover and remove the device, illustrating to the audience that the only actual nod to the nonprofit was inside the cover and therefore always obscured by the tablet.

“Where’s the (Red) branding?” he asked Ive. “Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”

Great to see Bono calling Apple out on their “understated” approach to this issue. But you’ll see that change within six months.

  • dtj

    PhotoOp whore Bono has a tantrum.

  • I disagree with Bono. No one should tell anyone else how to do charity.

    At a minimum, talking with Apple about asking for more coverage is the way to go. Bitching about lack of visual branding on a successful fund-raising effort is just being an asshat.

  • Jonh V.

    Way to be ungrateful little bitch, Bono.

  • SDR97

    He’s just mad because he put all that money into BlackBerry.

  • Moeskido

    Classy. Perhaps Bono would prefer Apple handled its packaging more like Microsoft?

    It’s a good thing he’s so pretty.

  • imthedude

    Who gives a shit what Bono has to say? Maybe he should concentrate on his own music. When was the last album he made? 5 years ago, and did anyone even care?

    • dreyfus2

      FWIW, by now their fans should be able to imagine different words to the always the same music on their own.

      • imthedude

        Fair enough. I just like to imagine they never existed.

    • taitaisanchez

      Because Bono’s one of the guys behind (Product) RED.

      I think Bono might be right on this one. If my red iPad mini smart cover had a (Product) RED logo on the front somewhere, that’d be awesome.

      • imthedude

        I disagree. I have the red cover, because I like the color. People aren’t buying colored things to support causes much these days, sans breast cancer pink. (I won’t get into what a total BS scam that all is)

        He also partnered with a company that doesn’t put any logos on anything. He knew that.

  • SockRolid

    What a douchebag.

  • CommonSense

    iPads are pretty darn popular and get used more than any other tablet. The cover is always open and the “brand” can be seen. So does he want to gripe and have Apple put it on the front where it won’t be seen when people are using their iPads?

    I have to agree with the majority of the sentiment though. It sounds like a child’s tantrum, but on stage in front of some (maybe?) influential people. Good way to lose a friend. No?

    • Ha, I didn’t even think about that! Kind of like how Apple turned over the logo on the laptops so it’s upside down when closed, but right-side up when open and facing other people.

      That said, the branding is definitely small/subtle. But still, how can anyone argue with $75m?

  • CommonSense

    To put his drivel into perspective… Look at Apple’s contribution compared to others… (Sorry just the lazy first link I pulled up looking for info)

    50% of profits from the most recent iPod Touch and other products for the last several years!

    Then there’s this…

    Which leads me to my personal opinion of most charities… that they are crap. A scam. A business model that serves the persons who created it and other business models invested in keeping it running, i.e. ad companies. Maybe they’ve changed, what do I know? I am just lowly little me with no money trolling Bono.

    I am not saying that requesting more charity is a bad thing, but to speak this way is unbecoming.

  • fenderlover

    Wow. I would have said “Thank you, Apple”, but that’s just me.

  • Franko65

    Not only bitching but, maybe I’m mistaken, mimicking (badly) Jobs’ vocal timbre? Classy twat

  • MichaelQ

    Actually I read this as he thinks Apple should take more credit for the great job they have done with the Charity.

    If he was bitching about the amount raised, he’d be asking wtf is the RED iPhone?

    • John V.

      Jeez, you’re bright. Let me explain.

      See, product red’s efforts have fizzled out in recent years.

      Since Bono is a narcissistic bastard, he thinks this is due to lack of brand awareness. And for this, he chose to blame their biggest contributor – Apple, because they wouldn’t plaster Red’s logo all over their their red products.

      The way Bono imagines it, everyone buying Red products, and when various executives see the Red brand, they say “jeez, we should join in”. He wants Red to be a self-perpetuating fashion statement.

      This would bring a lot more money than bitching about how much Apple itself contributes. But truth is, it’s not up to Apple to make up for Bono’s failings in marketing Red. Bono’s failures are his own. And if he keeps on bitching like this, I’d not be surprised if Apple starts donating to the Global Fund directly and ditches Red entirely.

  • MichaelQ

    “But you’ll see that change within six months.”


    • Apple is going to ramp up and increase exposure to/for the program.

      • MichaelQ

        Good. Because $75 million over several years of Apple sales IS lame.

        • John V.

          It’s lame that a single company donated $75 million of their profit to a charity? What the fuck is wrong with you.

          Hey, how many Red products do you own, oh unlame one?

        • Sigivald

          Part of the “problem” (non-problem) is that most – almost all – people don’t buy the RED branded Apple products.

          Remember, up above, Apple’s actually giving an excellent share of profits on the RED products it sells – 50% on high-margin iPods? Big.

          But those of us who aren’t eager to buy signaling goods don’t care about RED branding – and if we don’t care about the branding or signaling, why would we want to buy the product?

          That’s the “problem” with things like RED – their target market is people who care a lot about being seen to be “helping” or “socially conscious”.

          The rest of us not only don’t care about that signaling behavior, we often look down on it (even if we think the underlying goal of the drive is worthy, as RED’s is).

          I’d never buy a RED branded phone or laptop, because I don’t like red-colored devices outside of the kitchen [My stand mixer and stick blender? Both red.] … and that’s a “problem” Bono can’t ever overcome.

          (But no charity has to be or can be everything to everyone, and RED has managed to do some good work, and as charities go, it’s actually quite good at getting money to where it says it’s sending it.

          This is not so much a critique of RED as “bad” as explaining why the campaign is inherently limited and why $75 million dollars is nothing to sneeze at.)

          • MichaelQ

            Actually it’s “only” $10 for each RED iPod – well it was at the start. Can’t find any articles with any other newer figures.

            I always thought RED should get $10 from ANY iPod / iPhone etc sale – then we would be talking 100’s of millions if not billions – real money that makes a real dent.

            $75 million over 7 years barely covers marketing and admin.

            Your example of not wanting to buy a Red iPhone is a absolutely understandable, that’s why it should be on all products if they really want to support RED.

            Otherwise the onus is really on US to support RED, not Apple.

            Myself – I think I have bought 6-8 RED products at least that I can think of. iPods, covers and cases. Would love to buy more if only because I like the colour.

            I even went out of my way to get a RED Nano for my sister from USA when they were only available there and not in Australia.

      • Edwin

        Suddenly everyone who wears red Beats headphones is a contributor.

      • John V.


      • lucascott

        The irony being that Apple is the only company with the name space to do it. No one has a clue who the other partners are without googling it.

  • khakionion

    “Where’s the (Red) branding?”

    Uh…does he not see that the reason it sells so well is that it doesn’t have (RED) plastered all over it? It’s a classy red case. That’s why it (and the (RED) iPod touch) sell so well. The logo isn’t important. The color is.

    Seriously, how can a founder of the initiative not get this?

    • John V.

      No, the logo does matter. You need to know a bit of marketing to see where he’s going.

      The end game is indeed brand recognition of (Red) getting to a point where no one can sell anything red, without their customers asking “are you donating to (Red) with this?” , thus effectively shaming the manufacturers into participating. This is the thinking behind (Red) – to own a color.

      But you can’t just decide you own a color from day one. You need the logo as a clutch on the path to getting there. You need to see that logo, know that (Red) exists first, then get more and more products onboard, and eventually, if it would’ve worked out, just seeing something red would make you think of (Red).

      The problem is that Bono’s frustrated, and thinking that the way to getting his logo and brand out there more is embarrassing Jony Ive and Apple in public. You can’t force people into compromising their own brand to serve your own brand, that’s just bratty entitled attitude and won’t get him far at all. Especially with Apple. Apple doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

  • lucascott

    I had to google to find out what Bono has done other than talk. One would think he would be all over the press and I would just know already.

    Apple, in general, follows that lead of Buddhism etc as was Steve’s way. Buddhists do charity to do it. Not to talk about it and how much they did etc. Charity is charity not a PR action.


    • Sigivald

      True – but admittedly with the issue of logos, charity here is also meant to spur others to charity.

      I don’t know that it works, but it’s a comprehensible and non-wicked motive.

      (And while I think Bono is an annoying prat whose music hasn’t been interesting in a long time, I give him credit for sustained, serious, and often effective efforts to improve the situation in Africa, both economically and medically.

      I don’t agree with all of his positions, of course, but they’re sincere and rarely actively harmful.

      He’s done a decent amount of net good directly, let alone with his power of attention-directing.

      And that’s worthy of some respect in itself.

      Lastly, don’t forget that talking can, in itself, do some good – fame has power, and talk can help, if it gets action going.)

  • Terry Maraccini

    Bono is mostly a pompous ass. The rest of the time he’s just an idiot.