iWatch time: Apple seeking physiologists to run fitness, energy expenditure tests

Apple has published a job listing on its website seeking physiologists and engineers to run tests related to health and fitness data. This job will require the employees to “design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements…”

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Apple begins hiring iPhone/iPod manufacturing design engineers for Mesa, Arizona plant

Mesa-Arizona

Back in November, the State of Arizona announced that Apple had chosen the city of Mesa to create a new manufacturing facility and in the process 700 new permanent manufacturing jobs. Some had speculated it could be part of CEO Tim Cook’s plan to bring manufacturing of Macs back to the US (Cook previously stated some parts will come from Arizona), but a supplier later revealed it would be providing equipment for the production of sapphire material at Apple’s new plant. Apple never confirmed what the plant would actually be used for, but we’ve discovered through a new job listing that Apple will indeed use the facility for manufacturing iPhone and iPod components. Read more

Apple TD-LTE job listing serves as additional confirmation for China Mobile iPhone

China Mobile cell tower

While a possible deal with China Mobile, one of the world’s largest telecoms, was rumored for quite sometime leading up to launch of the new iPhones, the company said in August that it was still working out “commercial and technical issues” with Apple. Today, Bloomberg points us to an Apple job listing in China that provides some evidence that the company is indeed preparing to launch the iPhone on the carrier’s network:

The manager, who will be based in Beijing, will “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones,” Apple said in an advertisement on its China website. The position seeks experience with TD-SCDMA, China Mobile’s own third-generation standard that isn’t used by other carriers.

On top of TD-SCDMA, the job listing is also seeking an engineer with experience in TD-LTE, which is the LTE standard that China Mobile has quickly been rolling out. Back in August the often reliable KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo claimed that Apple was ramping up TD-LTE supported iPhone 5c production and estimated that the iPhone 5s and 5c on China Mobile could account for penetration of 25% and 35% of total shipments for the two devices. Currently the carrier has approximately 756 million subscribers, around 63% of the 1.2 billion wireless subscribers in China. Read more

Maps roundup: Early Placebase founder leaves for startup, Alaska airport directions disabled, & secret project job listing

Apple-Maps-hero

A few Apple map related stories have popped up today starting with the departure of early Placebase founder– the mapping company Apple bought back in 2009–  Jaron Waldman. After Apple bought Placebase, Waldman started and lead the Apple Geo team behind the Apple Maps infrastructure and location services on iOS and Mac like MapKit and CoreLocation. He was at Apple up until last month and even filed for numerous Apple mapping patents, but recently left to work at a “new startup” according sources and verified by his LinkedIn page.

As Waldman is on his way out, the Apple Maps team today posted a job listing (via Macrumors) seeking a web UI designer to “design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project.” Unfortunately we don’t get many hints at what the project would consist of, but the job listing adds that the successful applicant would join “a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based.” It is almost like Apple knows the listing will get lots of publicity if it adds ‘secret project’ therefore attracting a wider audience of potential candidates.

Finally, over a year into Apple’s Maps launch, Apple is still getting press for some hiccups it is yet to work out. A couple days ago news broke that Apple’s Maps app was directing drivers in Alaska down a dangerous route across a Fairbanks International Airport runway and taxiway. It’s certainly not the first time that Apple’s Maps app has given dangerous directions to drivers (those lacking common sense anyway) since its controversial launch, and today airport officials confirmed that Apple has disabled directions to the airport until it fixes the directions: Read more

Apple looking to hire experienced plastics material engineer for iPhones/iPads; indicates work beyond internal parts?

Apple-Plastic-Job-listing

Leading up to the unveiling of a new lower-cost plastic ‘iPhone 5C’ expected at Apple’s September 10 event next month, Apple is looking to hire an “experienced plastics material engineer” to work on iPhones and iPads. The engineer would join Apple’s iPhone/iPad Materials team and must have “extensive experience in plastic material properties, part design and fabrication.” While we know the current iPhone and iPads do use some internal plastic parts, the job listing also makes mentions of aesthetic requirements as well as experience in “plastic materials and design for manufacturing in terms of geometry and cosmetic quality.” That could be a hint the position will involve more than just the design of internal plastic parts.

There have been a ton of unconfirmed leaks claiming to show the plastic lower cost iPhone’s colourful back casings, but we posted the first photos of the next gen full-sized iPad back in January showing the device will borrow its design aesthetic from the iPad mini. It would be a stretch to imagine Apple might be working on a lower-cost, plastic iPad, but it is something it prototyped early on. Apple is expected to unveil the new lower-cost plastic iPhone alongside the new iPhone 5S at its event next month. There have been some conflicting reports this morning regarding the iPads, but we’re still expecting new iPads to be announced a later event.

Apple job listing confirms Apple is investigating using flexible displays in future products

Apple-job-listing-flexible-displays-02

Update: Apple appears to have removed the job listing, but we grabbed a screenshot above and below.

Apple-job-listing-flexible-displays-01We know that Apple has been investigating various methods of incorporating flexible displays in its mobile devices thanks to a handful of patents and patent applications published over the last year. Flexible display rumors have picked up steam even more since rumors of an iWatch from Apple, and just today we came across two new Apple patent applications detailing flexible devices that could change states as a user bends or twists the device. We all know Apple patent applications have never been a good indication of future product releases, but now Apple has came right out and stated in a job listing that it is indeed considering flexible displays.

Apple Inc. is looking for a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance.

The job listing seeking a Sr. Optical Engineer was posted earlier this month and looks for a display expert to investigate “high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display.” Specifically, Apple is requesting someone to “Analyze the trade-offs between design, process, optical performance, and implementation feasibility,” hinting that the company is considering introducing new, advanced display technology in the future: Read more