What will apple name the next iPad? That might seem like a moot question, but it's worth asking. Let me explain.
Take a look at the recent MacBook Pro refresh. The new models weren't renamed "MacBook Pro 16," rather keeping the "MacBook" label and sticking "new" in the front. And as for the different iPod lines, renaming occurs here and there, but Apple had never used numbers to any of those updates: iPod, iPod Mini, iPod Shuffle, iPod nano, iPod Touch, and remained so through each product's life-cycle. Also, the current and completely redesigned Apple TV is still called the "Apple TV."
The iPhone, however, proves a deviation to that rule. The first iteration was called "iPhone," then "iPhone 3G," then "iPhone 3GS." Only now have they resorted to numbers with the naming of the iPhone 4.
So, is Apple already in the position of numbering of iPad refreshes? Or will they stick to appending the word "new" in front of the next update?
One hint that Apple might choose "iPad 2" lies in the invitations they sent out this past week, which show an iOS calendar app icon with the date March 2. From the corner, the page is peeled back to show an iPad, foreshadowing the now-obvious next-gen iPad announcement.
At a quick glance, the graphic even looks like it says "iPad 2."
It might be worth looking at whether or not Apple chooses to adopt the names the public already dubs their unreleased products. Though in no way a science, it might make sense from a marketing standpoint to keep the name people have already chosen for the next iPad—not to mention to differentiate the new product from the older one, especially if it's redesigned in any way.
All I know is that I've been waiting too long to buy one; I was late to the game in deciding if I had use for one. But after I had enough time to play with a few and realized that carrying around my 17" MacBook Pro was more of a hassle than I anticipated, the lust for that 64GB 3G iPad crept up not too long ago—when it would make no sense to buy one in the face of a forthcoming new iPad. Or iPad 2. Or whatever.