Why is Apple hiring automotive engineers in China?

By , Mar 2, 2012

Earlier this week we talked about the possibility of Apple entering other markets to keep up its ridiculous growth pace. There’s only so far the company’s current iPhone and iPad products can take it before sales start to plateau.

When we mentioned the idea, we had no clue that the automotive industry was on Apple’s list of potential new markets. But according to a recent job listing, the Mac-makers are in search of an automotive engineer for an undisclosed project…

The posting was filed two weeks ago under LinkedIn’s Automotive section and calls for a ‘new Product Integration supervisor’ with experience in CNC machines and die casting/stamping.

Here’s the text from the original job listing:

 “Apple (China) Looking for SQE/NPI with over 4 years Mechanical engineering background familiar with CNC/die casting/stamping/plastic injection, can use APQP/PPAP/SPC to control product quality.”

So does this mean Apple is building an iCar? No. Chances are, if the job listing is legitimate, the company is once again working on deeper vehicle console/dashboard integration. As you may recall, Steve Jobs met with Volkswagen back in 2007 over a similar project.

But given the rising popularity of Apple’s mobile products, and brand name in general, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the company partner up with auto-makers in the near future to take in-car integration to new heights.

Of course, with nearly $100 billion dollars in the bank, Apple could totally be building its own car.

What do you think? Would you like to see Apple enter the automotive space?

[Jalopnik] [Image via retrevo]

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  • Kok Hean

    A GPS navigation device?

  • Anonymous

    Speculation or rumours, is that all you guys can post?? What happened to the actual news and articles that are factual and not just a biased fanboys perspective … I personally don’t care for the world according to Cody or Sebastien, I want to read interesting articles about Apple products, not see rumour after rumour or your views on everything Apple !!

    • Yacko

      It may be speculation but taking the long view is always rewarding. Apple is always looking for new opportunities. Considering cars will be social, connected and likely all electric to manage the inertia and momentum of driverless driving , Apple would be smart to be thinking about our managed auto future. Will it happen tomorrow? No. But having a 5 year plan and a research team to monitor the industry trends seems like a good idea. I hope Apple is doing it.

    • Anonymous

      ACTUALLY, if you were a true follower of the blog you would know that back at the beginning of the year iDB asked its followers to vote on whether or not they should continue to cover rumors. OBVIOUSLY, they normal followers wanted to hear about potential rumors and possible ideas of future Apple products, considering the fact they are still posting articles about rumors. If you don’t want to hear about rumors, you should probably get the hell off the site or just don’t freakin read the rumor articles.

    • Anonymous

      Rumors are a part of the industry. Some are real some are not. It gives you a glimpse into future related ideas and I support the reporting of all rumors. Lets not forget also that apple spins the rumor mill a lot of the time too.

  • ic0n1c

    LOL, the iPad HD rumour has em’ thinking everything is a rumour!

  • http://twitter.com/NSResponder John C. Randolph

    The last time Apple hired automotive engineers, they designed the liquid cooling system for the last round of G5-based Mac Pro computers. I think it’s far more likely that there are manufacturing processes in the automotive industry that Apple wants to apply to computer production, than Apple getting into the business of building cars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/luisreyespr Luis

      Didn’t know that. Then again I’m just a MacBook Pro user <3. But since my iPhone, and it's auxiliar support between my radio, all I could think of that is: wow, Apple could really do something beautiful (technologically) and just revolutionary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Forsberg/100001387343371 Bob Forsberg

    An in dash iPad/iPhone dock taking the place of costly vehicle displays is waiting to happen.

  • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

    I will definitely be jailbreaking it!! As long as I don’t have OpenSSH running, I am still safe.

  • Matt Lewis

    “Weird” is in the tags lololol

  • Anonymous

    Apple would never manufacture and sell autos. This isn’t Apple’s territory. Auto electronics, yes, but autos, no.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sinclairhacker Örjan Larsson

    If true, Apple has an uphill battle to fight. What I have understood from SAAB (before going bankrupt), they were working on an entertainment system based on Android. And worse for us who like to use iPhone, it seemed a lot of other car manufacturers were looking the same way

    Not because iPhone wasn’t a bad choice, but because Apple didn’t seem to care about the auto industry. Sometimes being too secret, is an disadvantage.

    But as an Applehead, it sure would be fun if at least some car company do it.
    (thoug please Apple, don’t deal with GM, their management still seems to be, as quoted by some of my friend as “an company developing car as an hobby”, i.e not as their main interest.