As awestruck Apple-ologists feverishly try to decipher why the new iPad is NOT called iPad 3 but "just the new iPad" -- I'm gonna take my own whack at the Gordian Knot.
WHY? Because 3 is an unlucky Apple number -- remember the Apple III computer? No? Exactly.
PLUS if you call it iPad 3, that numeral obscures the more important number -- 4G, as in 4G LTE wireless!
So I'm betting they were calling it iPad 3 right up until they saw the ad copy, selling 4G wireless. Someone said "Wait guys! People thought iPhone 4 was 4G, just because of the model number. Same thing here. No way we put 3 in the name."
Then they considered iPhone HD. Nah, that's too lame for what this baby delivers. Eventually they ran out of time or patience.
How 'bout just the new iPad? Same way we name the MacBooks.
Done and done.