Did Apple release the iPad 3 or the iPad HD? From the presentation and what it says in the Apple Store, it looks as if Apple has dropped the number and will simply call it the iPad from here on out. Is this a good or bad idea, or simply much ado about nothing?
On the one hand, not having the model in the name makes it easier to introduce new models. As we saw with the iPhone 4S, many people complained it wasn’t a good phone because it wasn’t called the iPhone 5, even though it had all of the features they wanted. It would also be better than selling the iPad 11 down the road, because eventually that gets a little ridiculous looking (even though it works for the Super Bowl).
However, not having the model in the name makes it more difficult to buy accessories such as cases. As illustrated by Apple product developer/retailer OWC, a case for the iPad, iPad 2, and the new iPad are all different, and if the person doesn’t know which one they have, it will be harder to know which one to buy. In response, stores might separate the accessories by the year the iPad was sold, but how many people will remember that?
Since it makes life easier for Apple, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next model of the iPhone is simply called the iPhone just as the iPad is just called the iPad.