Apple has held talks with the organisers of the Women's Prize for Fiction with a view to sponsoring the award, the Telegraph reports.
According to the newspaper, sources have indicated that Kobo is also among the companies to have talked with the award's organisers, but that discussions with Apple are the most advanced.
Orange, which had sponsored the award since it was founded in 1996, withdrew its funding in May. Orange said it planned to focus on its film industry sponsorship going forward.
In July, the prize's co-founder Kate Mosse revealed the its new sponsor will be announced in September, and said the award had been approached by 18 different companies when they announced that sponsorship was available.
According to the Telegraph, sources within Apple indicated that its potential involvement was likely to result in a "marketing arrangement" that would give the prize prominence in its iBookstore but did not necessarily involve naming rights.
A spokesperson for the prize said: "At this time we are unable to comment on the status of on-going conversations, but can confirm that positive discussions are taking place with a number of interested parties. However no final agreements have yet been made."