You know you've made it when your product keeps being parodied everywhere. Anyway, that's what Apple must be thinking.
You could go with a piece of hardware that has no logo... but come on, it's easy to parody Apple. Their symbol, an apple with a small section bitten off, is really easy to draw... and even easier to spoof. As is their name.
Which is probably why nowadays, many fictional computers, tablets, smartphones and other pieces of advanced technology bear a logo shaped like a fruit or another type of food. If it's not a fruit or a food of some kind, it'll still be a monochrome symbol of something recognizable or corresponding to the work's context. And the name could be [whatever letter]Phone. To make the reference even more obvious
, the logo also has a small section bitten off.
A subtrope of Bland-Name Product
, as it is clearly mocking the Apple logo or name. Also compare Everything Is an iPod in the Future
. Of course, this is to avoid lawsuits
, as are most bland name products. This trope becomes even funnier if that logo is on every type of electronic device the characters use.
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Anime and Manga
- In Digimon Adventure, Izzy has a laptop that not only has a pineapple logo, but has the whole "one half white, one half a color" motif of the early iBooks.
- In Maid Sama, Misaki uses a laptop with a pear logo early on to do student council work.
- Ouran High School Host Club has Kyouya use a laptop with a pineapple logo.
- In the Young Wizards books, some younger human wizards have their guide in the form of a laptop. It looks like a Mac, except the apple is whole — which fits the symbolism of the story (it's linked to the fall being caused by biting an apple, so an unbitten apple represents the world without the fall)
- In the Terry Pratchett's Hogfather screenplay book, there's a concept sketch of Magitek geek Ponder Stibbons studying a sketchbook resting on his lap. The cover of the book has a pineapple on it.
- The Transformers: Shattered Glass prose stories have the characters using oPhones and oPods. Though it's somewhat justified in that the stories take place in a Bizarro Universe.
- The Nick Verse series of shows by Dan Schneider started using a "Pear Company" parody in Zoey 101, but the use of the trope really exploded with follow up show iCarly and continued to be used in Victorious and Sam & Cat.
- In iCarly, the stable of products and parodies grew to include the Pear Operating System, Pear Pod music players, Pear Phones, Pear Pad tablets, Pear TV, Pear Tunes music downloads and Pear Chat messaging service.
- Freddie actually gets a job at a Pear Store in the imaginatively named episode "iPear Store", with a set that is a Pear knock-off of an Apple store.
- Recursively, Sam and Cat has a Show Within a Show where someone is using a laptop with a banana logo. Sam then explains that they aren't allowed to use real Pear computers, so they replace it with a banana.
- The title iCarly is taken from the whole 'i' prefix fad created by Apple.
- This trope actually predates Apple's rise in the domain of smartphones and tablets: in Bloom County, some characters use a Banana Jr. 9000 (or 6000), which parodied the Apple computers.
- In FoxTrot, an iFruit was introduced as the Expy for the iMac (Andy chose it because it was cute/the color was about to be discontinued [coming off a Beanie Baby, er, Bitty baby kick]; it had to grow on Jason) but many Apple/Macintosh products were named normally before that. Another example comes when Jason constantly attempts at creating a Shoddy Knockoff Product of Apple, the JPad.
- Get Fuzzy plays this straight; with one rare occasion of possible unintentional product-placement for Apple, most in-universe computers have a logo design that features a pear with a bite in it.
- The Grand Theft Auto series has the Fruit Computers. Their logo is a fruitbowl, and for example in this game art poster◊ for Grand Theft Auto V you can see a girl holding an iFruit phone in her hand.
- The update for Team Fortress 2 that introduced a Macintosh version, included an accompanying comic where the Blue team visits an Apple Store ("It looks like some kinda hospital for fruit!") The comic carefully avoids fully showing the logo or explicitly naming one of their products. They're quite impressed with the chaingun that sets up a blog for you and the iBlewUpTheMoon, though.
- Homestar Runner:
- One cartoon showed Bubs made people stand in line to get an iTem.
- In another toon, Bubs thinks that the best way to "modernize" Strong Bad's image is to put a lowercase "i" in front of it, like iStrong or iBad. Strong Bad declines, saying they fell into the same trap with lowercase "e"s in The Nineties.
- The Tandy 400, Strong Bad's computer at the start of the Strong Bad Emails series, is a mishmash of several ancient computers, but its logo (a rainbow-colored star with a bite taken from it) is a definite nod to Apple.
- The Cheat uses computers which are obvious shout outs to actual Apple iMacs, complete with the same logo as Strong Bad's Tandy 400. Tangerine Dreams is an iMac G3, and Monosodium Dreams is a G5.
- In the Epic Rap Battles of History episode for Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates, the logo used is a strawberry.
- A banana decorates most pieces of hardware in Bens City.
- In Danny Phantom, some computers have a pear on them. The pear seems to be a running joke among Nick's shows, being also present in iCarly and some others.
- In Futurama, the team buys eyePhones from MomCorp; those have Mom's head as logo.
- In The Simpsons, a logo that often pops up on hardware is an apple bitten on both sides. That line of products is called Mapple and was created my Steve Mobs.