The 'new iPad': What's in a name?

There was a big to-do made over the name of the next-gen iPad leading up to today's event, but in the end, Apple went with something rather generic. Why?

Donald Bell/CNET

Add this to the list of things that we didn't get with the next-gen iPad: a fancy new name.

During today's hour-plus-long launch event in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook and team unveiled details about the company's new tablet , simply calling it the "new iPad" throughout. Given that we got an iPad 2 and iPhone 4/4S, I thought for sure (as did many observers, from journalists to pundits to consumers), that the company would follow suit and was just holding the product's true name for a big reveal at the end of the presentation. But no, no, that's not what happened.

Now, all things considered, the name might seem like a trivial point, but one has to stop and wonder what led to the naming decision.

It could be as simple as the idea that Apple is going the MacBook Pro route and not assigning specific model numbers to its tablets anymore. Looking to the future, I suppose there isn't anything sexy about calling your product the "iPad 7" and that just being called iPad makes it easy for Apple to make incremental updates without confusion.

Plus, there's something to be said about going with a simple, recognizable moniker, because as we've seen before , assigning specific names to products can get complicated and a bit ridiculous. That said, there is a bit of confusion over whether the tablet's actual name is "The New iPad" or if it's just referred to as the new iPad or the third-generation iPad.

Maybe Apple learned a lesson from the name-related brouhaha that followed when it unveiled the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5. Orrrrr, could it be that Apple just wanted to stick it to all those making a commotion over the new iPad's name?

In the weeks and days leading up to today's event, there was much talk about whether the next-gen iPad would be called the iPad HD or the iPad 3. Some even half-joked that it would be called the iPad 2S. So, did Apple get the last laugh by pulling a switcheroo at the last minute? I'm not really one for conspiracy theories, but if there's one thing I've learned in my years covering the tech industry, it's to never count anything out with Apple.

What do you guys think? And is Apple smart to go with this new naming scheme (you know, because it worked so well for Coke and New Coke)? Share your thoughts with us below. Also, be sure to check out Crave contributor Eric Mack's amusing take on the new iPad name.

 

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