If rumors and rumblings are correct, Apple, Inc. (APPL  ) plans to re-haul its line of popular MacBook Pros for the first time in four years. The new ones are reported to be even thinner than their predecessors, fluently designed, and have a touch-screen strip along the top of the keyboard. The introduction of 'Polaris' graphic chips will also increase the quality of pixel presentations on the display screen, and hardware additions will allow more capability for data-sharing and transfers through USB-C connectivity. The machines are getting stronger and smaller.

The company also plans to unveil an updated and slimmer iPhone 7, the first model to come without a headphone jack instead opting for wireless connections to play music. The products are in line with the theme of efficiency the company has frequently touted. They will become available in the coming months after the requisite and anticipated product launches.

While Apple is far from dire straights, the company has taken a slight dive image-wise over the past few years. Since its late co-founder and chief visionary Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and iPad in 2007, no product has come close to achieving the same level of recognition or influence. The iPhone constitutes the vast bulk of the company's sales, with over one billion units sold worldwide. Its success is recognized as integral to democratizing the smartphone market and making Apple one of the world's most valuable publicly traded companies. That impressive statistic and its accompanying praise is lacking in the company's recent efforts, which can only be described as disappointing. In terms of marketing fanfare, the closest that came to matching the iPhone was arguably the Apple Watch. But sales of the device have diminished since its introduction last year and have only continued to fall. When the Apple Pencil, a stylus, was released in 2015, many turned to a quote from Steve Jobs that summed up their dissatisfaction with the product (despite whatever advancements it held over its predecessors): "Who wants a stylus?" The product has failed to elicit the same level of renown as the game-changers of previous launches. 

Turning to the stock market, Apple looks to be in a ripe condition, as it is priced at $107.93, far above competitors like Microsoft (MSFT  ), but below IBM (IBM  ) which sits at $167.95. All this highlights its stable nature, but its recent downturn this past financial quarter earlier this year cannot be completely ignored. There is a general consensus that the company, while healthy, has dropped a notch in its standard and ability for innovation. Much attention has focused on Tim Cook's leadership as CEO since replacing Jobs after the latter's death in 2011. Comparisons are continuously drawn and not all of them are flattering.

Apple has built a reputation off of innovation in a manner most other companies envy. Its value is not just financial but cultural--the mythology of its founding, its philosophy, and its financial power serves as a powerful success story that rose from constantly pushing limits, developing and nurturing the 'next big things'. But this impressive reputation can only be sustained by stable production of these 'next big things'--one hopes it will be delivered soon.