What’s the Difference Between an iPhone and a Harley?

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There’s an old joke about banjos: What’s the difference between a banjo and a Harley? Answer: You can tune a Harley.

As far as the iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and the motorcycles from Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG), the answer might be: No difference — they both have Lightning.

Last week, the European trademark agency approved Apple’s purchase of European trademark rights to the ‘Lightning’ name it uses for its new mobile connector from Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG). Harley has had the rights since 2005.

As with all things Apple, the report has spawned any number of rumors because the of the range of products that Apple could introduce bearing the Lightning label. According to CNNMoney:

The trademarks Apple received cover a broad list of items, from motorcycle electrical parts and speedometers to audio and video equipment. They also cover vending machines, slot and pinball machines, Christmas tree ornaments, golf tees, cat toys, television sets and eyeglasses.

Television sets? Eyeglasses? Could this mean a new version of AppleTV or a competitor to Google Glass? The possibilities are virtually endless and we should expect an endless stream of speculation for a while.

Paul Ausick

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