The next generation iPad may not be called iPad 3 but iPad HD instead. Gizmodo ran the rumor a few days ago, basing their report on product names from accessory makers. Now both VentureBeat and CNET claim their sources have told them iPad HD will be the official name.
We're already expecting a higher resolution screen and the HD suffix would no doubt be more marketable to the general public than either the number 3 or the term Retina. The question remains as to whether Apple will once again switch up their naming scheme to center around a single feature, as they did with the iPhone 3S.
Considering Apple is rumored to be doubling the resolution of the current iPad 2, to 2042x1536 it may make sense for them to market the heck out of an arguably retina display capable iPad. The general public understands what HD is and what it means, and it would highlight that the iPad will likely be the first tablet available to natively support 1080p at its full resolution. (Other 1080p+ tablets have been announced, but haven't yet shipped and likely won't ship before the next iPad hits store shelves.)
iMore hasn't heard anything about the name of the next iPad, be it iPad 3 or iPad HD. If Apple does go with iPad HD, however, what would the 4th generation iPad be called? iPad HD 2? iPad HDS? iPad 3?
The iPhone, as mentioned, went from iPhone to iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 to the current iPhone 4S, and is following a pattern of "tick tock" releases -- major design changes followed by mostly internal updates. iPad went from iPad to iPad 2, so it's a bit early to look for patterns.
We'll find out Wednesday.