Apple is the most successful company ever. Period.
You can argue over whether it is first and foremost a tech innovator or business model innovator or marketing firm, but you cannot dispute it’s incomparable success.
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976. Wayne would sell his 10% share back to the other two for $800 a few weeks later mostly out of fears of partnership liability for debts that Apple might incur.
After initial success and IPO, internal fighting and hits and misses with computer product releases, Jobs was forced out. For a decade, experienced executives developed structure and a foundation for a stable company, but ultimately Jobs was brought back in 1997 to restore vision, purpose, and profitability to Apple.
In 2007, riding on massive success, especially the advent of iTunes and the iPod (2001), Apple dropped the word Computer from their name and entered the mobile electronics market. iPhone-mania would sweep the world, seeing people line up for days to purchase a device. This past quarter, iPhones represented over 60% of Apple’s $50 billion revenue.
The Apple logo with the bite and the rainbow scheme was created by Rob Janoff for the launch of the Apple II in April 1977. It was used until 98/99. Steve Jobs has asserted the apple logo was inspired by the story of his childhood.
The bite is thought to have helped distinguish early designs of the apple from a tomato. The colors paid homage to the Apple II’s new impressive color capabilities.
Over 1998/99, Apple began shifting to a more monochrome version of the logo and by 2002 the logo was showing up in shining silver.
The Apple logo in printed matters were accompanied by the text “apple computer inc.” in a newly created font called Motter Tektura (designed by Otmer Motter of Vorarlberger Graphic). Bonus note, Reebok also used the same font in their logo, as did Trapper Keeper (link). For more info on Apple, see the Wikipedia entry.