On the new iPad’s name

Ged sighed sometimes, but he did not complain. He saw that in this dusty and fathomless matter of learning the true name of each place, thing, and being, the power he wanted lay like a jewel at the bottom of a dry well. For magic consists in this, the true naming of a thing.
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

To hear critics rail and complain, Apple fell on it face yesterday when it failed to differentiate the new iPad with the “3” or “HD” moniker that it had been rumored to hold in the days before its official unveiling.

Bullshit. Cut it out with the magical thinking, folks.

I’m typing this from a MacBook – not the first generation of the device to hold that name, and it didn’t suffer poor sales as a result. Later on I’m going to drive my Jeep Grand Cherokee – not the first vehicle to be named that, either – to the grocery store to pick up the makings of dinner. I can come up with countless examples of products that change – dramatically, in some cases – from year to year but don’t change their names.

Apple is neither the first company to do this, nor is their decision to simplify the iPad’s name particularly ground-breaking. Get over it.

I’d also like to point out that when the first iPad was introduced, its name was the subject of huge controversy in the blogosphere and among the tech punditry, many of whom considered the name silly; it was likened it to a feminine hygiene product.

Two years and tens of millions of units sold later, the iPad defines the tablet market much in the same way that the iPod defined the MP3 market through much of the first decade of the millennium.