Originally Posted by Marvin
That's probably going to be the biggest problem next year if they continue to sell the old one. That's one thing that distinguishes the other products from iOS products is that Apple doesn't simultaneously sell the old one and new one together outside the refurb store.
This!!! So right! Apple has been able to get away with generic names for products where the older model is discontinued in favor of the newer model. But in the case of the iDevices the older models is sticking around: The iPhone 3GS and 4 are still being sold new by Apple along with the 4S. Going to fully generic naming with the iPad means that if the previous generation continues to be sold as new by Apple, it's going to be confusing for customers and sales staff:
Joe Customer: "Hi, I'd like to get an iPad."
Apple Salesman: "Great, would you like the new iPad or the iPad?"
Joe Customer: "The iPad or the iPad???"
Apple Salesman: "Yeah, well we give you the choice, you can either get the new iPad with A8Z Processor and Intellitouch technology, or you can get the iPad with A7 Processor and HD+ Graphics. So do you want the new iPad or the iPad?"
Joe Customer: "I don't get the difference. It was easier to understand when they had clearer names."
With the next iPhone, you'll be able to choose the new iPhone, the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 4. Then with the next next iPhone you'll be able to get the new iPhone, the iPhone, the iPhone 4S. . . I understand that the iPhone product iteration numbers/letters are getting long in the tooth and unwieldy, but going ultra-minimalist will also cause problems.
In the car market you have the Ford Mustang as a generic model name, but at least you can figure out what Ford Mustang you're dealing with because the production year information is provided. And cars models are sold first and foremost by model year: 2012 Mustang, 2010 Mustang, etc. The consumer and the seller both can figure out a lot about the car being discussed just by looking at what model year it is. And even then there are different names associated with major features and trim levels (Mustang, Mustang GT, Mustang GT Cobra). I hope Apple considers putting the production year somewhere prominently in the marketing materials for each new iteration if it's going this minimalist naming route. There will have to be a short-hand way to refer to the different iterations going forward, and it seems to me model year is the only sensible way to do so.