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:
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”.
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.
TWEET US! Imagine you’re Tim Cook — What’s your excuse for not coming up with a better name than “the new iPad”?
— Squawk on the Street (@CNBCSquawkSt) March 8, 2012
And my “Android Market” app has now renamed itself to “Google Play”. Even though most of my apps aren’t for Play.
— Rick Eyre (@rickeyre) March 8, 2012