The Real Meaning Behind Apple’s Brand Name

In Steve Jobs’ biography, penned by Walter Isaacson, Jobs told the author that he was currently on one of his fruitarian diets. The day he came up with the name for the company that would change his life, he was on his way back from an apple farm. This is corroborated in Steve Wozniak’s autobiography “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon.” Wozniak, who drove Jobs back from the airport after that trip, said that the company name was made on that very drive. Apparently, the place Jobs referred to as an “apple orchard” was in fact some kind of commune. Jobs suggested the name “Apple Computer,” and as per his own biography, he thought it sounded “fun, spirited, and not intimidating” — all important factors for a company that hoped to revolutionize computing and make it much more approachable.

Wozniak was not immediately convinced. After all, The Beatles had (and still have) their own record label called Apple Records, and launching a company with such a similar name could spell disaster for the venture of the two Steves. These worries were not unfounded, as Apple Computer was, indeed, later sued by Apple Records for trademark violations. The lawsuit ended in a settlement that Apple Computer had to pay out to Apple Corps (the holding company that owned Apple Records), BusinessWeek reported back in 2004. The settlement was a modest sum in light of the giant that Apple grew up to be at $80,000. However, to the budding firm that Apple was at the time, it could have been a heavy blow — but it did not stop the company’s success in the least.