According to rumors, Steve Jobs wanted to pay homage to Alan Turing’s body of work, saluting him with the rainbow colored, part-eaten apple.
Alan Turing was a legendary British codebreaker, who played a crucial role in decoding a great number of German secret messages. During World War II, he was working on Manchester Mark 1, one of the earliest computers ever to be built.
After World War II, Turing entered a relationship Arnold Murray, who later tried to blackmail him by threatening to expose Turing as a homosexual. Turing refused to pay and went to the police, but as a result he was forced to admit to being homosexual. At the time, being homosexual was a crime; the punishment was either 2 years of prison, or regular doses of oestrogen in order to “dampen sexual desires”. Turing chose the latter and received “oestrogen therapy” for just about a year.
However, being outed eventually overwhelmed Turing; he committed suicide in 1954. He died of cyanide poisoning, and according to some, he self-administered the poison by eating a poisoned apple. Whether this story has anything to do with Apple’s logo has been hotly debated for years.
In a 2009 interview the designer of the logo, Rob Janoff, reflected on the theories about his work. He said that he received no specific brief from Steve Jobs, and “although he’s hazy about how he settled on the simple outline of an apple, the reason for the bite is crystal clear: it’s there for scale, he says, so that a small Apple logo still looks like an apple and not a cherry”.
Furthermore, the official Steve Jobs biography has a direct quote from Jobs as he was confronted with the legend: “”God we wish it were [true]. It’s just a coincidence.”