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Mac is back – but is anyone really shocked?

We can look back through the annals of time to pinpoint the exact moment that Apple became socially relevant again – the release of the iPod – with no small wonder.  Apple’s little miracle sold over a hundred thousand units in its first month of existence, putting its brand promptly in the spotlight.

And ever since that exact moment in time, the technology juggernaut has been rolling forward without any likelihood of stopping.

That’s why the staff writers here pay especial attention to Apple when it releases a new or updated product – there’s a good chance it will make a serious splash. Even when it’s a release as mundane as a notebook upgrade.

When the next generation MacBook Air debuted, we noticed its ultra-light construction and thought it a suitable competitor to today’s booming tablet market. And when Samsung was quick to announce a worthy competitor in the Series 9, we knew we were right: the ultra-slim editions are the wave of the future when it comes to notebooks.

Laptops are going to stay relevant simply on the principal that they host more powerful processing power than their smartphone competitors.

Apple seems to be doing something right with its next generation MacBooks. JP Morgan’s analyst, Mark Moskowitz, came forward today to note that noted that over 420,000 MacBook Air units were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. That represents annual growth of 333 percent (or 326 on a quarterly basis).

According to Moskowitz, MacBook Air sales are likely to climb to $2.2-billion or higher – which bodes well to this lightweight laptop revolution.

While the Samsung Series 9 could pose a serious threat, one cannot help but think on the iPad’s dominance of the tablet market – and its competitors’ inability to give it any real challenge – and wonder if the MacBook Air will suffer from a genuine rival.

It’s all food for thought, but thanks to Apple’s reliable monopolyon trendy, portable gadgets, we shouldn’t expect them to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Where b2b (business-to-business) laptop rentals are concerned, we fully expect the requests for the latest MacBook Airs to continue pouring in — which is why we stock them in the first place.

Because we know one thing in tech is true: Mac always comes back.