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Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus get a red special-edition makeover

The new color is part of the Product Red program, which funds HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. The iPhone SE will also get double the capacity.

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No, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus aren't blushing. They're now available in red.

Apple on Tuesday unveiled a variant of its flagship phone as part of the Product Red program, which funds programs that combat HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The special edition of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come in 128-gigabyte and 256GB configurations, starting at $749 (£699, AU$1,079). They will go on sale Friday.

Apple

While Apple has long participated in the Red program, this marks the first time the company has employed the color in its marquee phone. Other Red products include its original iPod Nano, Beats products and accessories for its iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch.

The company on Tuesday also doubled the storage of its budget iPhone SE, which starts at $399 (AU$679) but now gets 32GB or 128GB options.

The iPhone 7 has been good to Apple since its debut in September. In the final calendar quarter of 2016, it led Apple to record sales of 78.3 million total iPhones, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the company's revenue for the three months.

The red variant and the higher-capacity SE give Apple a midcycle rallying cry in between major updates to its marquee product line. Later this year, the company is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 8. Tuesday's news also comes two months after the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, a few weeks after pretty much every other phone maker used the high-profile Mobile World Congress to introduce their own new devices and a week ahead of Samsung's introduction of its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8.

Over the years, Apple has broadened the color palette of the iPhone, which originally just came in black. With the iPhone 7, customers were already able to choose from jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold.

Apple said that all the money raised by Red goes directly to fund HIV and AIDS grant that provide testing, counseling, treatment and prevention programs. The company added that since 2006, Product Red has generated more than $465 million for its Global Fund, with more than $130 million coming from Apple.

Separately, Apple on Tuesday announced a new 9.7-inch iPad.

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