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.