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The bizarre reason Steve Jobs called his company Apple and the story behind it

The bizarre reason Steve Jobs called his company Apple and the story behind it

Steve Jobs was known for his eccentric tendencies, which could explain this unusual story.

Ever wondered why Apple is actually called Apple?

It's one of the biggest brands in the world, a cutting-edge tech company that has been bringing major innovations to the public for decades, but it has a pretty kooky and offbeat name - but why?

Well, it turns out there are quite a lot of theories about the origins of Apple's name, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous - but thanks to books from both Steve Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak we've got a pretty clear sense of how it actually came about.

Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty

Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that the name was plucked out of nowhere, albeit inspired by a fruitarian phase he was going through, and that he thought it was "fun, spirited, and not intimidating", hence why it made sense for the company.

Wozniak went into more detail in his book, writing: "I remember I was driving Steve Jobs back from the airport along Highway 85. Steve was coming back from a visit to Oregon to a place he called an 'apple orchard.' It was actually some kind of commune.

"Steve suggested a name – Apple Computer. The first comment out of my mouth was, 'What about Apple Records?' This was (and still is) the Beatles-owned record label.

Hannes Magerstaedt / Stringer / Getty

"We both tried to come up with technical-sounding names that were better, but we couldn’t think of any good ones. Apple was so much better - better than any other name we could think of."

The name was so evocative of what they were aiming for with the company that neither of them could one-up it, and thus one of the most enduring and powerful brands was born.

It's a refreshingly simple story, absent of any focus groups or market testing (although those may well have happened later), and underlines the fact that great brand-building can come as a bolt from the blue.

Future Publishing / Contributor / Getty

Still, these stories haven't stopped people from speculating and spreading other narratives down the years, including a classic theory that the name was simply designed to make Apple one of the first tech companies in the phone book alphabetically.

Regardless, there's no doubt that Apple successfully gave itself a label that didn't sound clinical and boring, in an era when giants like IBM (the International Business Machines Corporation, to give it its full name) sounded pretty dry in comparison.

That's endured and seen it through to the present, where the launch of the Vision Pro headset shows that Apple can still capture the public's imagination.

Featured Image Credit: David Paul Morris / Stringer / SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty