iPad Models: What’s in a Name?

iPad  4

The new iPad isn’t new anymore; in fact it’s not even on sale anymore. The newer new iPad is the iPad 4th generation. No wait, it’s the retina iPad. Those of us who bought its predecessor now own the old new iPad, or is it the retina iPad 3rd gen? No, that sounds absolutely wrong. How did the iPad naming convention get so crazy on us?

When Steve Jobs first unveiled Apple’s ‘magical, revolutionary’ tablet it had a simple, catchy little name: iPad. Despite all the jokes about other sorts of pads, the name was a great fit in the iDevices lineup and seemed to fit the device quite nicely.

A year later a new, improved model launched – and the name stayed simple: it was the iPad 2.

Then in March of this year, we saw the release of the latest, greatest iPad right on the annual release schedule – but the naming for the magical tablet went a bit off the rails, or perhaps in a new direction. I remember following  the announcement event for this one and I, like lots of others, kept thinking ‘when are they going to say the name of it?’. Because throughout the unveiling event they constantly referred to it as ‘the new iPad’ – not iPad 3 or iPad HD or any of the other names that had seemed like obvious choices for the 3rd gen iPad with the amazing new retina display. So we all thought they were holding back the new name for some odd reason.

The event ended and it was still just the new iPad, which seemed quite odd. For starters, if Apple carried on with a yearly release cycle, then in 2013 would we have ‘the newer iPad’? And would 2012’s model be the old new iPad, or the almost new iPad? Then of course these new iPads started shipping and the box they came in just said iPad, not ‘new’ iPad – and the consensus seemed to be that Apple would likely stick with just iPad. As with their Mac PCs, iPads wouldn’t need numbers anymore just as we don’t have a MacBook Pro 2 or an iMac 4. Fair enough.

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