Apple China Seeks Automotive Engineer, Hint of Things to Come?

With the iPad 3 announcement scheduled for next week, the rumor mills are churning on what Apple has up their sleeves next. As with everything Cupertino-related, nothing will ever be confirmed until it comes out of Tim Cook’s mouth.

The newest rumor has Apple China posting a job listing on LinkedIn for a “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.” Now while seeking an employee isn’t exactly groundbreaking news or entirely revealing of the company’s intentions, there’s reason to believe that Apple could finally be looking at their own infotainment system.

It makes sense considering Brabus has already outfitted their Mercedes iBusiness S-Class with Apple products and aspiring entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands by developing their own in-dash head unit replacement to use with an iPhone. With how abundant iPhones are in this world and how many vehicles are on the road, it almost makes sense that Apple would somehow integrate an infotainment system to work with its devices.

Systems such as the Ford SYNC (which is now standard in the new Fusion and Flex) is powered by a Microsoft Windows-based system, Apple’s infamous rival in the marketplace. Other manufacturers such as Kia and Toyota also employ Microsoft’s services but we feel it’s the threat of Google’s Android into the marketplace that has Apple interested.

Sure Microsoft has almost a 10-year head start in the auto infotainment industry, but it’s Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that rules the world now. Both mobile operating systems have already been used to seamlessly sync into vehicles and they have the most accessibility to functional apps. In addition, app developers around the world have already embraced what Google and Apple have to offer.

So what is it Apple could be making? Based on the job listing, it seems that they could be looking into manufacturing a device that will integrate into a car’s dashboard. Our guess is that it’ll be a very plain-looking, but sleek head unit that will wirelessly sync with your Apple device to stream music, movies, app data, and more to your vehicle.

[Source: Car News China]