Apple Still Searching for Engineers with Plastics Expertise

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple continues to expand and improve its current plastics division, today posting a new job listing for a Senior Materials Engineer with a specialty in plastics (via 9to5Mac). The position asks for someone experienced with plastics materials to join the iPhone/iPad Materials team.

    According to the job notes, Apple is seeking an engineer with 10 or more years in the mold making industry to develop new plastic materials and processes to "meet the structural and aesthetic requirements of a wide range of part designs."

    Prototype of Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone
    Apple is also looking for several other employees with a specialization in plastic, including a Plastic Tooling Engineer and a Manufacturing Design Engineer. Apple originally began seeking a Manufacturing Design Engineer back in January and the position, which remains unfilled, asks candidates to "Identify, develop and launch new tooling and process capabilities in support of new Apple product developments."

    While Apple has focused heavily on aluminum for the iPad, the iPhone, and the MacBook line for the last several years, the company continues to use plastics in products like the Apple TV, the AirPort Extreme, and other accessories.

    Most notably, Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone features a colorful polycarbonate shell, the first plastic-shelled mobile product Apple has produced since the iPhone 3GS.

    Apple does use plastics for internal parts, but multiple job listings focus on the aesthetic use of plastic, which suggests that plastic may be a renewed area of interest for the company and could play a larger role in future Apple products.

    Article Link: Apple Still Searching for Engineers with Plastics Expertise
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2011
  3. macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2012
    As much hate I'll get for this, I really hope they don't expand the line any further with more plastic products.

    I really like the weight and feel of aluminum and glass and Apples current design consensus seems so much better than the plastic fantastic of 06 and before. :(
  4. macrumors 68030

    Feb 17, 2009
    .......but paper has to be next
  5. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Plastic being cheap feeling is entirely subjective. To me, the iPhone 5 feels cheaper than the 4 because it doesn't have the glass coating, and the lack of heft and weight to the thing makes it feel like I'm holding a tin can with a nice screen attached to it. It's the same way with plastic. Not everything made with the stuff feels like the Galaxy S4.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2006
    If only Scotty would travel back through time and drop by Tim Cook's office ... then we could upgrade to "Transparent Aluminum"!
  7. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I just want to say one word to you. Just one word... Are you listening?... :D
  8. macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2005
    Maybe look at fisher-price? They have been creating plastic phones for years...and they even make cool farm animal sounds
  9. macrumors member

    May 15, 2009
    Fixed that for ya. :b
  10. macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2012
    I was referring to the fact that the majority of products in 06 were plastic, whereas in 09 it was only the Macbook and the 3GS (As far as I can remember)
  11. macrumors 65816

    doug in albq

    Oct 12, 2007
  12. macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2010
    For many consumers price still plays a huge factor, and using plastic will allow Apple to reach more consumers without lowering margins. If Apple does not want a repeat of the Windows era, it will cater to all consumers.

    The Mac is only around today and profitable because of new product categories that gave it an extended lifeline. The curve and profits of a new product category are greater but decline as competition catches up. The competition caught up and overtook the Mac in sales making it's ecosystem slowly become irrelevant, and the same thing is happening now with Android. Hopefully Apple has learned it's lesson. Thankfully with the new iPhone 5c, it sure looks like they have. It looks like Cook is on the ball and knows the time of day.
  13. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Apple is hiring an engineer. Wow, talk about a slow news day!
  14. macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2012
    Good. There are plenty of consumers out there that would adopt the platform for price concessions via cheaper materials. While Apple has always stressed an integrated hardware/software paradigm, so long as the display itself is unaffected, there's no reason not to produced cheaper/more-ruggedized versions of its mobile solutions. It's very unlikely a product like the 5C would endure something similar to Scuffgate.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
    Plastic for the C models and aluminum for regular. Makes sense to me.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2003
  17. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
    Its actually worse since that is not the news, the news is they are STILL searching for engineers. Basically news rehash.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2010
    Think more widely...

    For example, flexible OLED displays require a plastic substrate layer, onto which a semiconductor layer is placed.

    And structurally, plastic composites are giving greater material strength in many scales of products and technologies.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    Apple has been producing the white macbooks, and the 3g &3gs yet they are still looking for expert in plastic mold. Better use other material apple!
  20. macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    I guess nothing is ever going to come out of the LiquidMetal thing.
  21. macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    I think we should all realize just how much bull poo the price argument has.

    Let's see the TRUE manufacturing cost re aluminum shell vs a plastic shell.

    I think many would be surprised, with mass production just how cheap the aluminium shell actually is.

    It' not like $150 each to make in mass volume.
  22. macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2012
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    No he's write you're wrong. The old MacBooks where white plastic polycarbonate.
  24. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
  25. macrumors 6502a

    franswa za

    Mar 24, 2010
    south africa

    arn and company, low cost or lower cost iPhone?

    there is no such thing as a low cost apple product

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