Naming a company or a product is a tricky proposition. In the end, no matter what name you choose, there will be advantages and there will be risks. A sound naming strategy has a plan to deal with those risks.
The name Apple has some strong advantages. It’s original and unexpected, two of the company’s brand attributes. It sounds friendly and fun, qualities the company wants to convey. It also comes before Atari in the phone book, which was a big deal when the company was launched.
The risk with the name Apple was that the company wouldn’t be taken seriously. That could have been a death sentence. Apple mitigated that risk by creating products that had cutting edge technology and turning themselves into an industry leader.
Imagine how a person feels telling a friend, “I bought an Apple.” Now imagine the way a person feels telling a friend, “I bought a Lenovo.” How do people feel when they say the name of your company or product?