It's worthwhile to check Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) job listings on a regular basis. Although no big, game-changing revelations are going to reveal themselves there, observers can get a sense of what types of projects and technologies the company is investing more into.
Image source: Apple.
This, in turn, can provide some insight into what the future of Apple's products might hold, at least in broad terms. So let's go over three key insights that can be gleaned from the company's current set of job listings.
Apple is still bulking up its chip teams
On Nov. 3 alone, Apple posted 11 job listings related to hardware engineering. Of those 11, at least nine -- arguably 10 -- were related to the company's chip-development efforts.
Apple AirPods. Image source: Apple.
It's likely that most of this hiring is aimed to bulk up its A-series smartphone and tablet processors; after all, Apple's leadership in these technologies certainly serves to build a long-term user-experience competitive advantage relative to its competition.
However, Apple has also been investing in wireless system-on-a-chip technology. This development might point to Apple's working to build in-house cellular modem efforts, but there's another potential explanation.
At the iPhone 7-series launch, Apple launched a family of wireless earbuds known as AirPods. The AirPods, according to the company, includes an Apple-designed wireless chip known as the W1, which Apple's chief design officer Jony Ive says (via 9to5Mac) "enables intelligent connection to all your Apple devices and allows you to instantly switch between whichever one you're using."
Apple's wireless chip efforts could very well be in service of future W-series connectivity chips and, perhaps, other technologies that haven't quite been made public yet.
OLED is coming soon to the Apple iPhone
Apple has put up a job listing for a "display manufacturing supplier quality engineering manager." The individual who ultimately gets this position "will have direct impact on the quality of the next generations of iPhone and [Apple] Watch."
Under the "key qualifications," Apple says that it would prefer to hire a candidate with "OLED process experience and/or flexible display module process experience."
So if there were any doubts that curved OLED displays were coming soon to Apple's iPhone product lineup, this should squash them.
Apple's investing in 3D Perception tech
On Nov. 3, Apple posted a job listing for a "3D Perception Algorithm Engineer." According to the listing, the individual who gets this gig "will implement 3D computer vision algorithms using existing hardware blocks (GPU, dedicated SoC) with an emphasis on performance and power."
What's more, the listing goes on to say that this engineer will "evaluate existing hardware blocks and contribute to the definition of new hardware blocks."
In other words, this listing suggests that Apple is working on getting these 3D computer vision algorithms to work reasonably on current-generation A-series processors.
Then, once Apple figures out efficient algorithms to perform the desired 3D perception and computer vision functionality, it will build specialized hardware that can run those algorithms -- and pretty much only those algorithms -- extremely quickly and in a very power-efficient manner, which is important for battery-life purposes.
This is an example of the ability to integrate hardware and software that Apple often brags about. It'll be interesting to see how these technologies work when they are ultimately introduced into future iPhone and iPad products.
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