Does the new iPads name set the stage for the iPad mini

first_imgAs yesterday’s iPad event approached, we wondered what could happen that would surprise us. The day came and went, and it turns out that the biggest surprise had to do with the tablet’s name. No iPad 3, no iPad HD, not even iPad 2S. Instead Apple gave us “the new iPad.”The initial reaction was confusion, followed by speculation as to why Apple made this change. Many people went on to surmise that the next iPhone will get the same treatment, and Apple will refer to it as “the new iPhone.” The Wall Street Journal even got an answer when it asked Phil Schiller what the reason was for the name change. His reply? “We don’t want to be predictable.”That’s fine and dandy, but an Apple exec is never going to give you a 100% straight answer to a question that may relate to unreleased products. Though simplification is always in Apple’s interest, I think that this may be related to an impending expansion of the iPad line.I’m talking about the iPad mini. You’ve heard the rumors; there seems to be at least one a week. The logic is that Apple wants to cut the Kindle Fire (and similar devices, like the Nook Tablet) out of the equation by offering a smaller/cheaper iPad. Supply chain “leaks” have appeared to support this hypothesis.The name change, then, would be a way of simplifying things once the iPad mini hits. If yesterday’s new device had been called the iPad 3, then we would have had the iPad 3 and iPad mini sitting side-by-side. That’s fine, but what happens when the second iPad mini hits the market? iPad 4 and iPad mini 2? It starts to get confusing, complicated, and convoluted: everything that Apple avoids like the plague.This also reflects what was happening last decade with the iPod. When Apple added the iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod touch, there were no numbers or suffixes that were specific to each year’s update… and Apple did pretty well with that.This is hardly proof of an iPad mini. The iPad 2 is still around at a lower price point, so Apple now has a “budget tablet” on the market. Plus, as Schiller said, Apple likes to be unpredictable. If we could see their every move ahead of time, we’d probably lose interest. But I think that, despite the rumors, analyst predictions, and supply chain evidence — the plain “iPad” name is the best indicator we have that there will be an iPad mini this year.last_img read more