In the months leading up to the latest iPad unveiling earlier this year, everyone was calling it the iPad 3 \u2013 that is, everyone except Apple.\n\tIn an odd detour from the Steve Jobs era, the new powers at Apple decided to name it the \u201cnew iPad.\u201d The thinking goes that the next-generation iPad is simply another iPad, just like the latest MacBook Pro is referred to merely as a MacBook Pro.\n\tThe new naming convention caused confusion in the blogosphere. \u201cWe don\u2019t want to be predictable,\u201d says Phil Schiller, senior vice president of global marketing at Apple.\n\tNow people are wondering what Apple might call the much rumored smaller tablet, which sources told the Wall Street Journal will come out in the fall.\n\tThe new iPad name sets the stage for a smaller tablet to be called the iPad Mini, much like the iPod Mini, wrote Will Shanklin at Geek.com back in March: \u201cIf yesterday\u2019s new device had been called the iPad 3, then we would have had the iPad 3 and iPad mini sitting side-by-side. That\u2019s fine, but what happens when the second iPad mini hits the market? iPad 4 and iPad mini 2? It starts to get confusing, complicated, and convoluted: everything that Apple avoids like the plague.\u201d\n\tShanklin isn\u2019t alone; the popular consensus is that a smaller Apple tablet will be called an iPad Mini. Just do a search for \u201ciPad Mini\u201d and you\u2019ll see what I mean. Even I referred to it as iPad Mini in my story The iPad Mini: A Late Game Changer?\n\tBut there\u2019s a problem with the name iPad Mini.\n\tThe iPad will face perhaps its biggest rival this fall when Microsoft unleashes its 10.6-inch Windows tablet, called Surface. It will be a premium product likely cost compatible with the iPad and sold concierge-style at Microsoft retail stores. Expect the battle to play out with aggressive advertising campaigns.\n\tIt would be the worst time for the iPad brand to be dragged down by a cheap, mini version.\n\tThen there are the immortal words of the late Steve Jobs. He dismissed 7-inch tablets as \u201ctweeners,\u201d neither tablet nor smartphone. If Apple names the smaller-screen product an iPad Mini, then Apple is basically saying that such a \u201ctweener\u201d is not only a tablet but an iPad tablet.\n\tEnter an interesting idea courtesy of Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.\n\tMilanesi contends that such branding would be detrimental to the iPad and a slap in the face to Jobs, which the new leaders at Apple just won\u2019t do. Instead of imagining a smaller-screen product, she sees it as a larger-screen product \u2013 as in, a larger iPod Touch.\n\tIf Apple calls the new product an iPod, not only does it avoid cheapening the iPad brand but also breathes new life into the iPod brand. The iPod, of course, has been somewhat stagnant compared to its more lively iPhone and iPad brethren.\n\tSo there you have it. Get ready for the new iPod.