In Steven Spielberg's 1989 sci-fi epic "Back to the Future 2," Marty McFly is due to arrive in Hill Valley on Oct. 21, 2015 and will find a future chock-full of flying cars, hoverboards and hydrating ovens. He left behind the world of 1985, which was an era filled with spandex-clad brat-packers drinking Tab and jamming to "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. This was a pre-Internet society, bereft of taste in clothing and fresh off of the discovery of the personal computer due, in large part, to Apple's 1984 Macintosh launch. If McFly were to arrive today, three years early, he would find a drastically revolutionized technology landscape and an unrecognizable Apple.
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1984: The Year of the Mac and Big Brother
Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh at the 1984 Apple shareholders meeting and initiated a presentation in which the Mac spouted forth colorful graphics, stunning fonts and a robotic, carcinogenic voice with a sense of humor: "Never trust a computer you can't lift." Following the presentation, the crowd gave Jobs and the Mac a five-minute standing ovation. This is the PC that McFly would have known, all 128 kb of it.
He also would have been familiar with the $1.5-million Ridley Scott commercial entitled "1984." The commercial introduced the Macintosh to the masses during Super Bowl XVIII. The epic commercial depicts a female athlete running through the tunnels of a crusty, dystopian future filled with throngs of gray humanoids marching towards Big Brother. The woman destroys Big Brother with a hammer to the screen and followers are amazed. The commercial finishes with an edict: "On Jan. 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. You'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984.' "
Over the years Apple would have its own handful of Big Brothers: IBM, Bill Gates, John Sculley and ultimately Steve Jobs himself who craved complete control over his products.
Roads? Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
If Marty McFly's DeLorean malfunctions and spins him into 2012 instead of 2015, he will not find Jaws 14, robotic dog-walkers or Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactors. He will find useful technology nonetheless: the iPod to store thousands of Huey Lewis and ZZ Top songs, iPhone's Siri to determine when the next lighting storm is going to occur and the iPad to purchase a copy of "Grey's Sports Almanac." The Apple that he knew in 1985 has ascended from a market cap of less than $5 billion and stock price of approximately $15 per share to a company worth over $570 billion with a 2012 stock price of $610. Knowing this, McFly will steadfastly travel back to 1985, give up Pepsi-Free and invest all of his savings in Apple stock.
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After Steve Job's resignation and subsequent passing in 2011, former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook took the helm at Apple and the company continues to release new products such as the iPhone 5 and iBooks Textbooks.
Recent Financial Results for Apple's 2012 Second Quarter:
- $39.2 billion in quarterly revenue
- $11.6 billion in net profit or $12.3 per share versus last year's $6 billion and $6.40 per share respectively
- 35.1 million iPhones sold, an 88% unit growth over the same quarter last year
- 11.8 million iPads sold, an 151% increase over last year
- 4 million Macs and 7.7 million iPods sold
Hello McFly … Is Anyone Home?
This is what McFly has missed:
The Newton, 1993
This was a stylus-driven, PDA pet project of Apple's then-CEO John Sculley. Jobs hated it and upon his return in 1997 he squashed the product.
Apple Stock price: Approximately $30
Market Cap: Less than $5 billion
Fresh from the smashing success of Pixar's "Toy Story," Jobs returned and introduced a futuristic, multi-colored iMac to be used as the central hub for all consumers' digital downloading needs.
Stock price: $35
Market Cap: $4.13 billion
Apple hits it stride and responds to the consumer demand and love for portable music.
Stock price: Approximately $18 per share
Market Cap: $7 billion
Apple dominated the world of portable devices with its introduction of the iPhone and, subsequently, the iPad.
Stock price: Approximately $150 per share
Market Cap: $112 billion
SEE: Why Pay The High Price For Apple?
The Bottom Line
Marty McFly will be arriving soon to a world bereft of skyways, flying cars and suspended animation kennels. Instead, he will find a world filled with useful Apple technology. Although he will not be able to use the iPad as a hoverboard in order to escape from Griff Tannen, he may be able to locate a book on anger management in the iBookstore, talk him down and show him the "Power of Love."
Photo Courtesy of alvy