Despite the fact that pretty much everyone could predict what would happen when it was replaced, Apple went ahead and named its third generation iPad the “new iPad” when it launched in spring of this year. Fast forward just half a year, and the thing has already been replaced by a model that was really only put out to push the adoption of the Lightning connector. Even so, it is technically the fourth generation iPad, which means that the third generation is no longer the newest iPad. The problem then, of course, is that half a year’s worth of promotional material suddenly becomes false advertising.
Just yesterday, I walked past a local store that had huge banners for the “New iPad.” It wasn’t the fourth generation iPad, however, it was the third generation one. So, while it’s technically the New iPad, it’s not the new iPad, a difference in capitalization that isn’t even detectable when your title is simply “New iPad.” It’s a mess, and it tricks people. It’s false advertising, and Apple should never have been allowed to use an adjective like that in the name to begin with. The situation that Apple has created is as ridiculous as if I were to name a rock “iPad 4” and simply sell it on eBay as “iPad 4 for sale.” I doubt that would go over too well with whoever ended up with a $500 rock in their mailbox, so i don’t get why Apple is allowed to do this on such a massive scale. Ironically, it also hurts Apple, as customers walk out with discounted New iPads and think they’ve just bought the new iPad. Seriously, Apple, how did you not see this one coming?
This issue isn’t lost on the retailers either. Right now they’re phasing out the old iPad, often by offering a discount, which means they either have to make their own posters or simply risk tricking someone. A store chain here in Norway took it a bit further and included something of a joke in the latest edition of their catalog. The iPad 4 is there listed as the “Even newer iPad,” a reclassification of the product that I don’t think has quite been approved by Apple. It does however speak to the ridiculousness of this issue, and it’s frankly the most descriptive listing of the iPad 4 so far. It’s also worth noting that Apple’s name for the latest iPad, “iPad with retina display,” isn’t mentioned at all in this listing. I guess there comes a point where retailers give up brand name accuracy for actual product accuracy.