Apple’s Crazy iPad Naming Scheme

When we transitioned from the iPad to the iPad 2, all was well. Then, we had the notorious “new iPad,” and we got the feeling that Apple was just being contrarian and silly. Now, the new iPad is the old iPad.... oh, wait. It gets worse.

When Phil Schiller introduced the latest 9.7-inch iPad, he called it the 4th generation iPad. That makes some sense because even though the so-called” iPad 3” was declared the “new iPad” by Apple, there was some use of the term “3rd generation” at the Apple online store.

To make things perfectly clear, of course.

And what is Apple calling the 4th generation iPad? Looking at the online store comparison chart, we see “iPad with Retina display.” Now that’s helpful, isn’t it, considering that the 3rd generation iPad also has a Retina display.

But Apple isn’t sliding the new iPad (3rd gen) down the line. Nope. It’s still selling the iPad 2 as the middle of the line product. So where does the 3rd gen iPad go? You know, the one with the Retina display? Oblivion.

Today's iPad line. Image Credit: Apple

The net result of all this is vast potential for confusion. We’ll all just throw up our hands and declare that we have iPads, first, second, third and fourth generation (plus the mini) and not even use Apple’s nomenclature. Then, for those readers who are even more confused by the journalist’s attempt at simplification, they’ll check Apple’s website. And we know what will happen then.

More confusion.

Here’s what we have so far:

Generation What Apple calls it What we call it
1st iPad iPad
2nd iPad 2 iPad 2
3rd new iPad iPad 3
4th iPad with
Retina display
iPad 4

Next year, of course, we can look forward to, I presume, the “new iPad mini.”