Once ‘iPad 2’ is discontinued, Apple’s iPad lineup will make more sense to consumers

“When you add up the different models of iPads — broken down by screen size, storage options, cellular data connectivity or Wi-Fi only — there are essentially 14 tablets to choose from in Apple’s store,” Brian X. Chen blogs for The New York Times.

“What’s more, Apple is still selling the older iPad 2, which could confuse people, because the fourth-generation iPad is simply called ‘iPad,’ making it unclear which one is the newest,” Chen writes. “‘It’s really three models — iPad, iPad Mini and iPad 2 with different wireless options and storage capacities,’analyst Shaw Wu of of Sterne Agee said.”

However, Chen writes, “the iPad 2 stuck out to Mr. Wu as potentially confusing, because the name could lead the average consumer to believe it was the newest one. ‘We’ll have to see how long Apple decides to continue to sell it,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It certainly would have been easier if Apple planned this out beforehand and chosen to either do the iPad (generation) or iPad (year) designation or the numbering scheme. To go from “iPad” to “iPad 2” to “iPad with Retina display” (3rd gen./early 2012) to “iPad with Retina display” (4th gen./late 2012) is confusing to everyone, not just your average consumer. You’d have thought they’d have planned out something as important as the naming convention back during iPad development, but evidently you’d have thought wrong.

Once the now incongruous “iPad 2” finally goes away things will be better in iPad naming land.


  1. Right on MDN. I have had the iPad, the iPad 2 and the “new iPad”
    Just number the damn things so people not familiar with Apple products will know what they’re buying. The rest of us know. Wonder how long it will be before the retina display iPad mini will be out? I hope they just give it a number. I tried out a friends mini today and it was really nice. Wasn’t a retina display like my new iPad but it still looks pretty good. Good enough. I may have to get one for myself as a pre-Christmas present!

    1. To be correct, there was never “new iPad”, “new” was never part of the name, Apple used it only as adjective to point out that iPad (3) is newer than iPad 2.

      The decision to use this adjective was also confusing, so the system they use now — “iPad (third generation)”, “iPad (fourth generation)”, makes more sense.

      iPhone 5 naming made is own damage since it is nonsensical. It is sixth generation iPhone. They would be use similar “iPhone (sixth generation)” scheme, or at least number that actually fits to the number of generation, rather than succumb to the nonsensical media naming.

      1. Correct you are. It was simply called iPad. But in any case it was a poor choice. Same with the iPhone descriptions. I’m surprised that Apple didn’t do better. I would have thought that this would’ve been planned much better.

  2. It makes sense now, but it will make MORE sense at the next refresh (which will probably be early Fall going forward). I think the pricing and lineup will be

    iPod touch (4″ Retina Display) – below $299
    iPad mini – $299
    iPad (“last year’s” model with Retina Display) – $399
    iPad (the next NEW iPad) – $499 (and up)

    Currently, iPad 2 (the current “last year’s” model) is sort of “in the way” and it’s not a good value compared to iPad mini.

  3. I hope apple is not competing with Android in fragmentation lol..
    On a serious note, releasing updates for the products every 6 months is not a good idea especially when it is not a marginal improvement..
    I think apple took this path maybe to get all primary mobile products to have the new connector and is not going to be a happening regularly. One thing they dont want is too confuse the consumers how ever popular the Apple brand is, they can always drift into that path.

    1. There is no extra fragmentation, and the only existing fragmentation was from the Retina Display and performance differences. iPad mini, in terms of fragmentation, is the SAME as iPad 2 for both the screen resolution and performance.

      Also, I think Apple has just adjusted the annual iPad refresh time to early Fall, going forward. This makes more sense for an ultra-popular established product line, because it is immediately before the holidays. Having iPads updated in March/April made it seem somewhat “dated” (old news) by November/December. And you’re right… Apple is not going to do major updates like this one every 6 months.

      I expect there will be something entirely NEW to fit into the March/April slot. Maybe it’s the “TV.”

      1. I agree with the have the refresh done till the holiday season from next year, Steve Jobs did that with the iphone too by waiting 6 more months than the regular launch where by extending the product life by around 6 months. The present guys reduced it.
        Will be interesting to see what they do with the March/April slot.

  4. Review the Apple keynote where iPad 3 was announced. When Phil Schiller said that iPad 3 would be called “the new iPad”, you could tell he was smirking thinking he had just said something brilliant. These are things proud people do before the slide starts towards the fall.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.