The group spent the early part of 1968 in Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh, India, studying transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Upon their return, Lennon and McCartney went to New York to announce the formation of Apple Corps.
Its name (pronounced "apple core", as in Peace Corps) is a pun. Its chief division (and the only profitable one) is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year. Other divisions included Apple Electronics, Apple Films, Apple Publishing, and Apple Retail, whose most notable venture was the ill-fated Apple Boutique in London. Apple's headquarters, in the late-1960s, was at 3 Savile Row in London, known as the Apple Building, which was also home to the Apple Studio.
The Beatles' accountants had informed the group that they had a large amount of capital which they could either invest in a business venture or else lose to the tax man.
In addition to providing an umbrella to cover the Beatles' own financial and business affairs, Apple was intended to provide a means of financial support to anyone in the wider world struggling to get 'worthwhile' artistic projects off the ground. It was pitched to the world's media by John Lennon and Paul McCartney as an attempt at 'Western Communism'.
The company name originated with McCartney, coming from a René Magritte painting he'd acquired; 'Apple "Core" (Corps)' was a play on words all the Beatles enjoyed. The ubiquitous logo was designed by Gene Mahon, with illustrator Alan Aldridge transcribing the copyright notice to appear on record releases.
The first two years of the company's existence coincided with a marked worsening of the band members' relationships with each other, ultimately leading to the break-up of the band in 1970. Apple quickly slid into financial chaos, which was resolved only after many years of litigation. When the Beatles' partnership was dissolved in 1975, dissolution of Apple Corps was also considered, but it was decided to keep it going, while effectively retiring all its divisions. The company is currently headquartered at 27 Ovington Square, in London's prestigious Knightsbridge district. Ownership and control of the company remains with McCartney, Starr and the estates of Lennon and Harrison.