As Steve Jobs and Apple sought to build a Web browser for the Mac in 2002, one of the simplest issues was what to name it. And according to a lead engineer there at the time, it was also one of the most contentious fights.
The browser that became Safari might have been named “Freedom” instead, if Jobs had had his way. Former Apple engineer Don Melton said on a personal blog that Jobs spent considerable time trying to sell the team on the name, speculating that it may have been because the new browser represented “freedom” from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Melton wrote that Jobs floated several names out loud for the browser, which was codenamed Alexander, after Alexander the Great.
About four weeks before its January 2003 launch, Safari finally got its name. Melton can’t remember who thought of it, but he added: “To whoever suggested the name ‘Safari,’ thank you.”