Apple Looking for Plastics Manufacturing Engineers

While not directly proving “Apple is working on a plastic iPhone”, a recent job post looking for a design engineer who specializes in plastics certainly means that Apple isn’t abandoning the material entirely.

From the Apple job posting:

Identify, develop and launch new tooling and process capabilities in support of new Apple product developments. Areas of focus will be “non-traditional” Apple plastic processing such as thermoforming, foam molding, blow molding, etc., and their application to new Apple products. The successful candidate will have demonstrated history of bringing new process and tooling technologies through a full development cycle and launch into high volume production.

I’d say Apple is looking for someone who can find new and better ways to make things out of plastic. While a lot of Apple products are aluminum, AirPort devices, Apple TVs, power adapters, and even internal parts use plastic…a lot. So, it would make sense to keep Apple on the cutting edge of design and manufacturing.

Tangentially related to this (because I read them moments apart from each other in my RSS feeds), iDownload Blog comments on a new plastic device patent that Apple was just awarded.

While folks, especially coupled with this job posting, will start going nuts about “the plastic iPhone is coming”, couple details iDownload Blog pointed out…

One, the patent was applied for a year ago, it was just awarded today. Two lots of parts of the patent sound like a nice protective cover for an iPod touch (or iPhone).

So relax folks, no massive news about a secret plastic iPhone made by engineers hidden away in a secret lab in the middle of the ocean…

Not that it wouldn’t be cool if that weren’t true…

Also via MacRumors.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

    Plastic is a HUGE step back from glass and aluminum. I hope this is totally bogus.

    • deep

      So was it a step back or forward from the 1st gen aluminum iPhone to the plastic 3G/3Gs?… Help me here lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

        In my personal opinion, the FEEL of the phone was much less… Reassuring. The aluminum iPhone (1st gen) was a learning experience for all of us. There were a lot of innovations and advancements from Gen 1 to Gen 2, but the tactile feel of the phone in your hand was NOT one of them.

        I will even go as far to say, once again referring ONLY to the basic tactile experience, than the 4/4S felt better to the touch than does the iPhone 5. Does that mean I like the 4S better than my 5? No, not even CLOSE. But just in that single category, the smooth, cool feel of the glass back was a better feel than the aluminum of the 5.

        Plastic, no matter how advanced, is still plastic. Carbon composites, as mentioned by another commenter, are NOT plastic, and may very well be a viable advancement in shell construction. I DO feel like any use of plastic in the exterior would be a step backwards.

  • anthony

    plastics are NOT a huge step back from glass and aluminum. our newest aerospace materials are primarily plastics — carbon fiber plastics, fiberglass using thermoset and thermoplastics. dont consider “plastics” as what you’ve seen in cheap consumer products as the only thing plastics can be.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    SHORT COMMENT . it’s a SCUM, (hoax) apple is a computer hardware manufacturer, they wouldn’t invest money in a non-core business activity/task. marc

  • moe22

    i just dont want the plastic iphone to be a samsung. break on the first drop. and the whole thing is worthless cant even use for anything.