How Did Apple Inc. Get Its Name?

In 1968, the Beatles created Apple Corps Ltd., whose subsidiaries included Apple Records and Apple Films. In 1976, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs came along with a totally different Apple. These electronics visionaries created Apple Computer Company from the California home of Jobs' parents. Their first product was the Apple I computer, which was an assembled circuit board sold to computer hobbyists (who had to provide their own keyboard, monitor, and case) for $666.66.

The name "Apple Computer Company" was inspired by co-founder Steve Jobs' experience working in an apple orchard.
The name "Apple Computer Company" was inspired by co-founder Steve Jobs' experience working in an apple orchard.

When Jobs suggested the Apple name for their new company, he had recently returned from the All One Farm commune in Oregon, where he had spent time in the farm's apple orchard. While Wozniak worried that the name might bring legal actions from the Beatles, they couldn’t think of anything better. So they hit enter, and the rest is history.

Taking a bite out of Apple:

  • Jobs and Woz were looking for a company name that was less officious than the industry leaders at the time, such as IBM and Cincom. They briefly considered the names "Executex" and "Matrix Electronics."

  • Jobs really liked the Apple name. “Partly because I like apples a lot,” he said at the time, “and partially because Apple is ahead of Atari in the phonebook, and I used to work at Atari.”

  • Between 1978 and 2006, there were several legal clashes between Apple Corps and Apple Computer (later known as Apple, Inc.) over trademarks. London's High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Apple Computer in 2006, and a settlement followed.


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