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Why is the Apple logo actually bitten?

Apple is not only one of the most famous, but also one of the most valuable companies in the world. Everyone knows the logo with the apple. But why does a tech giant, of all things, carry an apple as its logo – and a bitten one at that?

Apple’s history began with the so-called Macintosh computer (Mac) in the late 1970s. Hardly anyone knows that in the 1980s Apple helped the now omnipresent mouse as an input device to break through. In the 1990s, Apple got caught up in too many unsuccessful projects, got into financial trouble and was even on the verge of bankruptcy. Today, the company is back and more successful than almost any other. And it likes to show it – with the Apple logo, which is emblazoned on almost all devices. But why a bitten apple?

The unique success story

Almost at the end in the 1990s, Apple worked its way back. One device in particular helped it achieve success. In the early noughties, Apple invented the iPod along with iTunes, not only revolutionizing the music industry, which was plagued by online piracy at the time, but setting in motion an unprecedented success story. The iPod is now history, but Apple’s success remains.

But Apple’s greatest and most valuable invention was neither the Mac computer nor the iPod, but the iPhone, introduced in 2007. It became the benchmark for the entire mobile phone industry and is considered the forefather of all today’s smartphones. Behind all this success was the visionary Steve Jobs, who together with Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne founded Apple as a garage company in Cupertino (California) in 1976.

From today’s perspective, the question of why Apple has a bitten apple in its logo is particularly interesting.

The fruity company name

The answer behind the company name is surprisingly banal. At the time, Steve Jobs was a vegetarian, and for a short time even a fruitarian. He also pruned apple trees on a communal farm in his spare time. This seems to have inspired him, because shortly before founding the company, he is said to have threatened to call the company Apple, i.e. Apple, if someone did not suggest a more interesting name. He hoped this would stimulate the creativity of his fellow employees. But it didn’t help – and so it became Apple.

However, there were still a few good reasons for the decision: the name sounded friendly and took the edge off the subject of computers, Jobs is said to have argued. And: In the future, one would be in front of Atari, one of the competitors at that time, in the phone book.

A bitten apple as Apple’s logo

The original logo design for Apple initially looked completely different. The philosopher Isaac Newton was sitting under a tree, above him a shining little apple. The whole thing was kept in black and white and looked more like a biblical drawing. But this homage to the philosopher who discovered gravity when the apple fell on his head was too complex and too small-scale to reproduce well.

The apple logo as we know it today was finally designed by graphic designer Rob Janoff in 1977. According to the Steve Jobs biography, he is said to have developed two versions: one with a whole apple and one with a bitten apple. It was ultimately decided to go with the bitten apple so that it would not be mistaken for a cherry or tomato.

In addition, the bite is supposed to be an ironic reference to a “byte” ( digital unit of measurement ), which is pronounced the same way as “bite” in English. Over the years, the logo was first colorful, later three-dimensional and is now finally greatly reduced mostly in black or the respective color of the product on which it was applied.


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