The Orange Prize for Fiction is a prestigious literary award in the UK that goes to one outstanding female writer every year. Until this past May the award, officially called the Women's Prize for Fiction, has been sponsored by UK telecoms provider Orange. However, after T-Mobile's merger with Orange earlier this year, the company decided to drop its sponsorship of the prize. Now, according to The Sunday Telegraph, Apple is looking to take over sponsorship of the literary award.
The Telegraph story points out that UK sponsorship by Apple is a rare thing. The Cupertino company has only lent its "iTunes" name to a music festival and an iTV2 music show. But the paper speculates that Apple's presumed interest in the literary prize is to drum up more interest in reading ebooks from its iBookstore. In fact, instead of just switching fruit names from Orange to Apple, should it win the sponsorship, Apple might forgo the "Apple Prize for Fiction" name all together and could presumably call it the "iBooks Prize for Fiction." The company could then also promote the prize through the iBookstore.
The Sunday Telegraph doesn't provide many more details besides their sources confirming that "Apple has had talks with the award organisers" and that also "a number of companies, including Kobo, the ebook producer, had also indicated their interest but that discussions with Apple were the most advanced."
The Orange Prize for Fiction originated in 1996. You can see a full list of winners here.