Tomorrow’s iPad announcement will keep the name “iPad” for the entire line. There won’t be an iPad “Mini” nor an iPad “Nano” nor an iPad “Air” nor even an iPad “Junior.” Apple has been laying the groundwork for this for a while now, and it’s something that makes sense.
Apple sees the iPad as the new computer, so they’ll want to name it like one. There are multiple models for each of its computer lines: iMac, MacBook, Air. In the iMac example, there’s a 27″ version and a 21.5″ version. They’re not named “iMac” and “iMac Mini.” The MacBook comes in a variety of sizes, including the Pro part of the line-up, which refers to a feature set, not a size difference. There is no MacBook “Nano” or MacBook “Mini.”
When Apple chose to do away with the numbering of its iPad line last spring, it was a precursor to this week’s announcement. From now one, you’ll order an iPad, whether it’s a 10 inch screen or an 8 inch screen. Just “iPad.” That’s why there’s no “iPad 3,” because that would confuse everything.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPad 2 go away after this announcement. The new smaller iPad replaces it. In fact, Apple may even pitch this as an iPad 2 replacement, at an even lower “more incredible” price.
I’m guessing the price will be $299, for what it’s worth. $199 is wishful thinking. $249 is do-able, but Apple likes its profit margins too much. $299 it is. It’ll still sell like hotcakes.