New iPad May Mean The End of Numbered Apple Devices

    March 8, 2012
    Shaylin Clark
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At yesterday’s media event Apple unveiled their third generation iPad with several new (though mostly expected) features: retina display, better camera, and 4G LTE, and iOS 5.1. One new feature of the iPad surprised pretty much everyone, though: the name. After months of speculation about the “iPad 3,” reports started to surface that the tablet would actually be called the iPad HD.

As it turned out, everybody was wrong. The new iPad’s name does away with all the modifiers. It’s just “the new iPad.” This has left a lot of industry watchers scratching their heads. In a way, though, it makes sense. Most companies – including most of Apple’s with their other products – don’t bother with giving each new iteration of a device its own unique name. What generation is the current iPod Nano? Or, for that matter, what about the red-headed step child of the iOS family, the iPod Touch? What about the latest MacBook? The iMac?

For the most part, new devices aren’t given their own names, and for the most part consumers don’t care. Sure it makes things easier for retailers, accessory makers, and industry watchers. But for consumers it really doesn’t make much real difference. Most consumers – especially the less tech savvy ones – who walk into a store looking for the latest iPad aren’t going to ask for the iPad 2 or the iPad HD. They’re going to ask for “the new iPad.” In that sense, then, Apple’s naming choice makes sense. It brings the iPad into line with most of the rest of Apple’s products, and it recognizes the way that most of Apple’s customers shop.

Of course, Apple’s choice for the iPad’s name raises some interesting questions about other Apple products. What about next year’s iPad? Will it be the “New New iPad“? More importantly, what does that mean for the next iPhone? Most speculation has been calling it the iPhone 5. Some have suggested the iPhone 6 (it is, after all, the sixth generation iPhone). But if Apple is dropping modifiers from device names, then it’s a pretty safe bet that when Tim Cook next takes the stage (in September or October?) it will be to announce “the new iPhone.”

What do you think of “the new iPad”? Is it a smart move on Apple’s part, or a mistake? Let us know in the comments.

  • Anthony

    It’s stupid because like you said, next year when the next iPad comes out what do you name it? The “New” New iPad?

    Common sense if Apple is going to go this route then they’re going to have to think of a new name for every product such as the iPhone, iPad & even iPod Touch’s when they’re released every year.

    It’s also stupid in the fact that let’s say for the sake of argument the next iPhone (iPhone 5) is called “The New iPhone” just like this “New iPad” What happens when you can’t think of anymore names and then start numbering them again? That wouldn’t make sense now would it? Should have just stuck with the numbers.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/shaylin-clark Shaylin Clark

      That’s just it, though: I don’t think they will give them a different name every year. They’ve released new iPod Touch models alongside iPhone models for years, and have only ever called it “the iPod Touch.” Same with the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano. Only the iPhone and iPad have gotten unique numbers. With everything else they just keep the name the same. The point is, that’s probably what they’re doing with the iPad and iPhone. From now on (I suspect) every year’s new iPad or iPhone will just be “the new iPad” or “the new iPhone,” just the same as literally every other product Apple makes.

  • T P

    They have only ever numbered 2 devices out of the 100s they have released, the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2. The 3G means third generation cellular phone technology; it was the second iPhone. They don’t even number the operating system anymore. iPhone 4 was a good move for clarity, but iPad 2 was a mistake. Now it is fixed. If a totally new iPhone is released this fall it should get a cool name, not a 5.