You noted a subtle but significant different between American and British Commonwealth business culture. The legal differences of an American Corporation and a British Commonwealth Limited Company are significant.I'm British and we tend to treat company names as collective nouns.
A company is essentially a descriptive name for a group of people, so using 'Apple are' makes perfect sense. However, it does depend on the context, as you could also refer to the brand itself which would be singular.
We do this with any organization or group of people, such as "The Government are failing to tackle crime", "The Police are underpaid", etc.
In the States, a corporation by definition is a single entity that is defined as an individual with very similar rights and privileges as a person. When a legal action occurs with a company, that corporate entity is addressed and not the individuals who are running it. Hence why Americans use company names as singular nouns.
A Limited Company, by most Commonwealth legal definitions, is a group of subscribers responsible for company actions. In a Commonwealth legal action, the individuals running the company are addressed but with limited liability. Hence why a Limited Company is described as a collective noun.
Had a good talk about this over a few pints at a pub in Bayswater a few years ago with some Imperial students.