Why is Apple called like that? The origin of the name and logo of the American technology giant

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You may not have opened a comic in your life, or you don’t like superhero movies, but if they put Batman’s shield or Superman’s S in front of you, you know how to recognize them. The same happens with the F of Facebook, the logo of the Ghostbusters or the windows of Windows. They are popular symbols that are recognized outside their scope, like the Apple logo: The eternally bitten apple.

But where did this apple come from? Who bit her first?

Sir Isaac Newton and the Law of Gravity

The year is 1974, when video games were in their 1st Generation, arcade halls were gaining popularity, and the Magnavox Odyssey – the 1st home console in history – was released in the UK after coming out two years earlier in the USA. The Atari Corporation You are making a lot of money – and even more so 3 years later with your Atari 2600-, and hires a man named Steve Jobs as a video game designer, who wants to save money to go to India to immerse himself in Buddhism.

After achieving this, on his return to Silicon Valley he meets an old high school classmate, Steve Wozniak, working for Hewlett Packard while developing his own version of a computer motherboard at home. Jobs, one of the business geniuses of the 20th century and with a prodigious market insight into user tastes, took notice of el Apple I from his colleague and instantly saw the potential he had.

But as often happens, there are those who do not have the same vision of the future, and when presenting the Apple I to Hewlett Packard, the company rejected Wozniak’s design. For Jobs, this motherboard has a future, and together with Wozniak and a third partner, Ronald Wayne, they founded a company called Apple Computer Inc., with the first office in Jobs’s garage.

A $ 72 billion march

The main reason why Steve Jobs hired Ronald Wayne was to take care of the commercial part of the company, but he decided go away and take a check for 800 dollars of the time with you. A check that, had it been cashed in this day and age, would not have been for $ 800, but for $ 72 billion. Wayne’s departure forces Jobs to take over business tasks, such as looking for potential investors, interested companies, doing good marketing, etc. But one thing that Wayne left behind was the company’s first logo.

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Why is Apple called like that?  The origin of the name and logo of the American technology giant

Yes, it is what you see above these lines. And no, it was not an apple: It is a very ornate logo that shows the name of the company and a drawing of Isaac Newton the day the apple fell on him and he conceived the laws of gravity.

The problem? That Jobs was not very amused, and with good reason, since although distinctive in large size, it is too dense, ornate And if you make it small to put it on the marquetry cover of the Apple I, it is not distinguishable other than the letters and therefore it is not functional to be represented at different sizes.

Jobs wanted something simple, functional, modern, which literally represented the name as a pictogram and the vision of the future of Apple Computers. The Apple I had gone on sale in July 1976 at the curious price of $ 666.66 because Wozniak liked repeating digits and because they originally sold it to a local store for $ 500 and added a third of the profit margin. 200 units were manufactured. Unlike other hobbyist computers of those days, which were sold in kits, andhe Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board containing 62 chips.

And it had made noise, although the Apple II would do more, which would establish Apple in the nascent computer industry. For this reason, in 1977, the baroque Newton logo was abandoned in search of a new one. One that would go down in popular culture forever.

No it wasn’t for Alan Turing

Alan Turing, computer scientist, mathematician, philosopher, cryptanalyst and more, is considered the father of modern computing. And without your contribution, it is possible that today we would speak German throughout Europe … His work during WWII to crack the code for the Enigma machine, used by the Nazis to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communications and messages, was crucial. In fact, he cracked the code for the Enigma version used by Nazi naval forces – different from those used by air and ground forces.

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But Being gay in 1950s England was a crime that cost Turing his respectability and achievements, being even chemically castrated for it. And in 1954, afflicted with painful side effects from the process, and repudiated by a nation he helped save, Alan Turing committed suicide using Cyanide poison. Upon entering his home, the authorities found his body and a half-bitten apple on the side …

Why is Apple called like that?  The origin of the name and logo of the American technology giant

Is the 1977 Apple symbol a tribute to Turing, also crowned by the different layers of colors that are symbolic of Gay Pride? Well no, it is not, since this story, tragically beautiful in itself, has been discredited by the creator of the logo, Rob Janoff.

The first color PC

The same year that Apple changed its logo, Steve Jobs hired the services of Rob Janoff, Regis McKenna corporate logo designer in 1977. He designed the iconic bitten apple logo, which today is one of the most recognizable symbols in history. This version of the logo had the colors of the rainbow, and the company used it from 1977 to 1998. The rainbow hue idea was because Apple was the first company in llaunch a computer with a color screen, the Apple II.

And the bit, the bitten part, divide still today day to the experts: According to Rob Janoff, the bite was for the logo differs from cherry tomato and other objects very similar when displayed at a smaller size. But Rob’s creative director, Mr. Chip, has a different opinion. For him, the bite means byte, a computer term that refers to the industry to which the company belongs.

Why is Apple called like that?  The origin of the name and logo of the American technology giant


A for Simplicity

Asked about the apple issue while writing his own biography, Steve Jobs told the author of the book, Walter Isaacson, that he was “on one of my fruit diets” and he had just come back from an apple farm, and he thought that the name sounded “fun, lively and non-intimidating. In his 2006 book iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak explains it like this:

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“It was a couple of weeks later that we came up with a name for the company. I remember taking Steve Jobs back from the airport on Highway 85. Steve was coming back from a visit to Oregon to a place he called an apple orchard. It was actually a kind of commune.

Steve suggested a name: Apple Computer. The first comment that came out of my mouth was: “What about Apple Records?” It was (and still is) the record label owned by the Beatles. We both tried to think of names that would sound better from a technical point of view, but we couldn’t come up with any good ones. Apple was so much better, better than any other name we could think of “.

(Note: Apple Computer, Inc. was sued by Apple Records for trademark infringement on 1989.)

In a 2006 interview with an MIT newspaper, Wozniak was asked again about the rationale behind the name Apple. Wozniak confirmed that it was a creation of Job, and that he came up with the name after spending a few months working in an apple orchard. “After trying to think of better, more technical names, both Jobs and I realized that Apple was a good fit.“he told the newspaper.

Why is Apple called like that?  The origin of the name and logo of the American technology giant

Finally, in the book titled Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, by Owen Linzmayer, there is a paragraph in which the author points out that both Wozniak and Jobs tried alternative brand names, like Executex and Matrix Electronics, but they liked nothing more than Apple Computer.

A few years after Apple turns half a century, 50 years in which it has changed forever and several times the panorama of society with its creations – the iPhone in 2007 for example, which has given rise not only to the current reality, but also Back to the era of smart devices and objects – your logo is still as easy to see as it is recognized. And it will continue like this without a doubt.


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