Apple released “the new iPad” today, as Tim Cook called it, and several people balked at the name. “Why not the iPad 3? It’s name is odd.” Actually, “iPad 2” is the odd man out.
David Barnard tweeted a great comment this afternoon, saying “‘The new iPad’ I certainly didn’t see that coming, but it’s brilliant. It’s just iPad, but everyone will ask ‘is that the _new_ iPad?’ Yes.” Jason Snell tweeted that the last four iPod touch iterations have been called “iPod touch.” I agree with that. The iMac is the iMac, the MacBook Air is the MacBook Air and so on.
The iPad was originally called “iPad,” then “iPad 2” and now “iPad” again. That switch isn’t unprecedented. As Jason Snell points out, the iPod became “iPod photo” and then back to iPod.
The iPad naming comes in line with much of Apple’s hardware line. “The new iPad” isn’t the anomaly, “iPad 2” is.