A funny thing might be happening to the Orange Prize for Fiction, a prestigious literary award that recognizes novels written by women — its sponsor might be changing! Oh, wait, I told it wrong — the funny part is that the new sponsor might be none other than the company founded by a notorious Men in Black-esque alien, Apple. See, it's funny because apples and oranges are different kinds of fruit and trying to compare them would be absurd, like trying to wear shoes made out of pudding or taking an under-$20 trip to Whole Foods.
According to the Telegraph, Orange, a mobile phone operator, has supported the prize since 1996, the year it was founded. When Orange merged with T-Mobile earlier this year, it withdrew its sponsorship from the prize, probably because it wanted to devote all of its sponsorship energies to citrus fruit drinking contests (I mean, I don't know that for sure, but it seems to make sense). At the time of Orange's withdrawal, critics quipped amongst themselves that Blackberry, Apple, or some other fruit-themed tech company should swoop in and sponsor the prize, but now it could actually happen.
Apple doesn't generally sponsor stuff because it's way too high-minded and cerebral for such crass advertising shenanigans, but the corporate giant is currently being sued over allegedly colluding to fix ebook prices with some major publishing houses in an effort to break Amazon's Palpatine-like dominion over the ebook market. Lending its name to a women's fiction prize, therefore, could help Apple gain a more solid foothold in the e-publishing market, and company sources think that any potential sponsorship deal would likely result in some sort of "marketing arrangement" that would give prizewinners prominence in Apple's iBookstore.