Opinion: An iPad by any other name

What were the brains at Apple thinking by not giving the "new iPad" a name?

Are we just supposed to call it "the new iPad" now? That's how Apple's Web site refers to it — with a lowercase "n" in "new," so it's not even a name name. It's pretentious is what it is.

But beyond pretension, calling it "the new iPad" is like referring to a new Canon camera as "the new Canon camera," or a new Cadillac as "the new Cadillac" or a new pair of Christian Louboutin shoes as "the new FABULOUS Christian Louboutin shoes."

Can you be vaguer? You are aware there are more than one iPad model, right? Apparently not.

Before I proceed to make more fun of iPad 3's lack of official moniker, I have to tell you about the (not intentionally) funny email my friends at Samsung sent out comparing content creation on the Galaxy Tab to iPad 3:

Samsung galaxy note ipad comparison.jpg

Why is this funny? Stressing content creation advantages between tablets is akin to arguing for sports car A because it has a larger trunk than sports car B.

So, Samsung, your big argument is you can do two things at once when most of us can barely handle one chore at a time, and if I want to draw or edit photos, I get to have (and lose) a stylus? Okay then.

We now return you to our iPad naming conundrum.

Call Me Rumor

In the weeks leading up to Wednesday's grand unveiling, the media mostly referred to Apple's third generation iPad as, logically, iPad 3. Simple and descriptive.

Then, earlier this week, there were rumors that the new iPad would be dubbed iPad HD. Sure, okay — it has a HD Retina screen that actually has higher than HD 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, higher than any flat screen HDTV. They could even have gone with iPad Higher D.

I had hints there'd be a naming issue before Wednesday. I received an embargoed press release from an iPad accessory maker two days before the introduction to announce new cases designed for the new iPad as "Apple iPad 3rd Generation."

I'm sure Apple doesn't want us calling it iPad 3rd. That sounds as if it ought to be wearing a Ralph Lauren sweater around its neck, a commodore's hat and attending Phillips Exeter Academy.

But maybe Apple thought its numbering system was getting old. That saying "iPad 3" implied obsolescence since it implies there'd be a number 4, then a number 5, and so on, minimizing this version's iPad's advances.

Or, maybe, iPad is waiting for March 16, when the new iPad goes on sale, to give it an official name?

The Once And Future Name

Which raises an interesting issue — if Apple is afraid of implying obsolescence with its now apparently defunct iPad numbering system, what will they call what we're calling the iPhone 5?

Apple can't call it "the new iPhone" — after all, there are a lot more iPhone models then iPad models to contend and confuse it with. With the current iPhone 4S, iPhone 4G — assuming it'll be a 4G phone — would be too confusing. iPhone LTE, or even just iPhone L? Or will that make people think iPhone is a lesbian? Or Apple could go with it and come out with a pink or rainbow iPhone.

And what happens next March? Will Apple unveil the "newer iPad"? The "newest iPad"? The "new new iPad"? Since it'll be the fourth generation iPad, maybe iiiiPad or, more succinctly, the ivPad? Nah, too ER.

Not that it needs the money, but maybe Apple can sell the iPad naming rights to some rich celebrity. iPad Trump. iPad Romney (he'd attract the Apple fan boy vote). iPad Gates?

Apple names its desktop operating systems after game cats, and Android versions are named for snacks. How about naming iPads after big, strong trees? iPad Oak. iPad Sequoia. iPad Banyan Tree (very Zen — Steve would have liked it). iPad Horse Chestnut. iPad The Larch. Okay, maybe not the Larch. And definitely not iPad Pussy Willow.

Ah, to heck with it. I know not what nomenclature course others may take, but as for me, I have and will continue to refer to the "new iPad" as iPad 3.

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