Changing Names: Google Play and The New iPad

Last week we saw two interesting product name changes by technology giants Apple and Google which have resulted in a high volume of discussion amongst users and the media:

Google Play

Google Play

The changes in question were Apple’s decision to call the 3rd generation iPad tablet “The New iPad” rather than the iPad HD or iPad 3 as predicted by most people, as well as Google’s equally unexpected move to rename the “Google Market” Android application to “Google Play”.

Some commentators say that both companies have made a mistake in changing long standing names. CNN asks Why doesn’t the ‘new iPad’ have a name? and TechCrunch made their view clear Google Play? What The Hell Was Wrong With Android Market?.

On the other hand supporters such as ReadWriteWeb thinks that “it’s a good idea for Google to consolidate its offerings into one place with Google Play” in order to compete with Apple’s iTunes and GigaOM thinks Apple is “acknowledging that we have arrived in a post-PC world, where iPads aren’t just niche products for gadget lovers with an eye for specs and revision numbers”.

Learn more about the Australian and International mobile industry at CeBIT Australia’s Mobile 2012 Conference which will take place on 24 May 2012.
The New iPad

The New iPad

For the near future at least, the name changes may confuse consumers who aren’t up to date with technology news.

A reasonably large number of users who aren’t aware of the purpose behind Google’s renaming of the Android Market will be looking on their phone for the Android market app, unaware that it has changed it’s name, icon and interface. The word Play also has connotations of games and enjoyment which covers the gaming apps, movies, books and music available through Google Play but is not accurate at all for the thousands of business, navigation, productivity and other applications.

Apple’s decision may cause confusion amongst less tech-savvy customers if they see an iPad 2 and The New iPad next to each other in a retail store as to which is newer.

Also in terms of searchability iPad 3 would have provided a clear new name for customers to search for in Google, Yahoo etc. The phrase “The New iPad” has definitely been used already in previous articles about new iPad launches so it may be tricky to find reviews of this new Apple tablet.



Learn more about communicating changes to your products and services using social media at CeBIT Australia’s Social Enterprise Conference which will take place on 23 May 2012.

  • Rita Dawson

    Was it a change in the name? I didn’t know that and I thought those to be new products. I wondered how Apple and Google could so silently launch their new products too. Now I tend to ask the same questions that you have mentioned – “Why doesn’t the ‘new iPad’ have a name?, What The Hell Was Wrong With Android Market?” :)