Apple job listing hints at new iPhone OS-based devices

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A new corporate job listing implies Apple's iPhone OS could become the interface for new hardware beyond the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in the future.

Last week, Apple revealed it is looking to hire an engineering manager to work at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The full-time job would lead a team responsible for the architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware based on the iPhone OS.

"The Core Platform team within Apple's Core OS organization is looking for a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms," the job listing reads.

Apple is looking for a "very technical and hands-on leader" to work closely with the company's hardware team, and someone who has a thorough understanding of the mobile operating system's underpinnings. The ideal candidate would have experience with Mac OS X or iPhone development, as well as ARM-based systems-on-a-chip.

In 2006, AppleInsider first revealed that Apple planned to utilize a variant of Mac OS X to embed in its mobile devices. That variant eventually became the multitouch iPhone OS, which is based on the underpinnings of Mac OS X. Apple's latest job filing would imply that the iPhone and iPad were just the first two new devices to take advantage of Apple's revolutionary mobile operating system.

The iPhone is based on the ARM processor architecture, which allows for low power consumption in mobile devices. For the forthcoming iPad, Apple created its own custom chip, also based on the ARM architecture and estimated to have cost the company $1 billion to make.

As first reported by AppleInsider in 2008, Apple has been a licensee of the ARM architecture for years. The company also purchased P.A. Semi for $278 million in 2008. Apple's experience with and acquisitions related to chip design could give the hardware maker more flexibility in the future to create unique devices that take full advantage of the iPhone OS.

Apple said its new engineering manager will work with the company's hardware and silicon teams "to bring-up new platforms and prototype systems," and also define the software roadmap for "a range of hardware platforms, including iPhone and iPod." The employee will also "lead the team's assistance in requirements for future hardware and custom silicon."


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