Not iPad 3 – Reasons why Apple chose to name its new tablet, “the new iPAD”

4/13/2012 8:52:19 AM

Could apple's "the new iPad" title for the third tablet be the result of Proview?

Description: the new iPAD

If you have been reading our previous issues over the past few months, you may be aware of our coverage of Apple's legal battle with Proview over the iPad title/name. Proview claims copyrights to the title because Apple didn't buy the rights from the branch of the company responsible for it. Apple, on the other hand, claims it has the rights to the title and bought it legitimately.

The legal battle has played out mostly in Taiwanese and Chinese courts, but reports indicate it will be heading to United States civil courts as well. Apple's event in San Francisco revealed that what the media was calling iPad 3 has actually been named "The New iPad". Could this be the result of this legal dispute? Apple may not want to give any more money to Proview or risk potential copyright payouts in the future if Proview succeeds in the court battles ahead.

What does this mean for? The title of "The New iPad" doesn't seem very marketable in today's electronic environment. Usually, titles for gadgets have to be short, precise, and catchy to really capture the audience. Take the Vita, or 3DS for example. These titles are very short titles with only a couple of syllables each.

Some tablets actually have longer names in an attempt to distinguish themselves from the rest of the competition. The Nook Color has two separate words in its title as well as the Kindle Fire. However, Apple has usually been known to place only one word in its titles. Just look at examples of iDevices: iPhone, iPad, iPod. The iPod Touch does have two words in its title, but it has to.

How else would it distinguish itself from the older iPod that is a part of its product line?

The idea of brand titles being influential on marketing and the success of a product is a very interesting discussion. You may be aware of our previous story, called "Unboxing," about Apple's packaging experts taking great care and resources to find the perfect boxes (along with other packaging) to fit Apple products. The name of a product should have just as much of an influence on consumers than attractive packaging.

Proview follow-up

There has been some recent news regarding the Proview and Apple situation since we last covered this story.

After the recent Apple press event announcing the third iPad model, Proview is calling on Chinese dealers to stop selling iPads altogether. The company doesn't want any iPad models to be found in retail in the country.

According to Ventura County Star, the demand to stop the distribution of the iPad product lineup has been issued by Proview in an open letter. The letter was sent out to Chinese vendors and dealers and threatened them directly - and not just Apple. The threats were centered around potential copyright lawsuits to the dealers and vendors. Surprisingly, even potential "criminal" liability was mentioned.

As you can see, this is a very serious issue that will probably not go away anytime soon. Proview and Apple will continue to battle it out in international courts for the iPad title. Not many companies were able to take Apple head-on like this and succeed, but it seems Proview is going after vendors and other small-timers not related to Apple. This strategy may have different implications than Samsung's copyright battle with Apple.

Why It Matters

The reason the title change should matter to Apple and the industry as a whole is marketability. How marketable is a name such as "The New iPad" when the product falls in line with previous tablets of the brand. The changes for the third model were not that significant to justify having such a title.

The Retina Display is a huge upgrade for some users, but for others it is a small reason to purchase the tablet at the premium price over previous models. The quad-core GPU in the A5X SOC is another huge update, but only gamers will take advantage of the faster graphics in the new model.

The software is what really needs to change or Apple needs to rework some of its software to really distinguish itself from previous iPad models and other iDevices. Because the form factor is pretty much the same as the iPad 2, this might be an arduous challenge for Apple to accomplish.

Another reason why the new title matters is because it is long and awkward to say. Imagine the next year's model being called "The New iPad 2" or "The Next iPad." This sort of naming may confuse customers as to exactly which model they own.

Another Possibility For The Title Change

Description: The New iPad

Another possibility for why the iPad 3 is now called "The New iPad" is that Tim Cook simply wants to take the iPad in a new direction. Calling it a "New iPad" will mean it is separating itself from the previous models in features and functionality. However, it still runs on the same operating system and outside of a few hardware upgrades, it still looks and functions in the same manner as the previous models.

The idea of Tim Cook taking the iPad in a new direction is realistic, though. The reason for this can be seen just by looking at the upcoming Mountain Lion operating system from Apple. There will be a lot of integration and iPad features in this Mac operating system. The word "Mac" will be even missing from the title of the OS.

Does Tim Cook want to somehow integrate the iPad with the Mac? Maybe he is testing the waters with Mountain Lion when his real long-term vision will be to put the same OS on the Macbook and iPad. By calling the device a "New iPad", it will distinguish itself from previous models tied to iOS - and iPhone/iPod Touch along with it.


Apple has its work cut out in terms of what to do with the iPad title as a whole. Has this been a launch of a new product lineup and "The New iPad" is the first tablet in the new lineup? Or will upcoming iPad models appear with different branding as well? Apple is usually great about marketing a situation no matter which way it leads. Time will tell whether they will somehow run with this name or be legally forced to come up with a title not even mentioning "iPad."

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