updated 06:26 pm EST, Tue February 11, 2014
Versatile candidates sought that can handle current, future hardware and platforms
A job opening at Apple posted earlier this week, seeking an "Instrumentation Design/NPI Engineer" notes not only that the successful candidate will help the company with forthcoming "new products," but also mentions that the engineer will work with "new platforms as yet unannounced" as well as existing platforms. The mention could be a reference to the alleged "iWatch" the company is said to be working on, which might require its own custom OS.
The company current has essentially three platforms: OS X, iOS and a custom iPod OS for the non-Touch models. The alleged "iWatch" is, based on hiring choices publicly announced so far, intended to be very health-oriented and consequently might require a new custom-written OS optimized for record-keeping and other tasks that can be stored on a chip in a minimal amount of space, given that the product is intended to be lightweight and wearable.
Likewise, with hints of a revamped Apple TV also indicated, the reference could refer to the long-awaited "Apple HDTV" type product or an offshoot of the Apple TV set-top box, which currently runs a modified version of iOS. An expanded Apple TV device is likely to bring the ability to play some iOS games and other iOS apps directly, which might require modifications to the device's current branch of iOS.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised "new products" not related to the current lineups in 2014, and with these might come the need for more customized versions of iOS -- or something entirely different -- to drive them. The job listing also mentions that the job's requirements will be applied to the "hottest topics across the company," and thus "always moving" to cover the Mac, iPhone, iPad and assorted accessories, thus calling for a very versatile candidate.
The successful applicant will be a hardware engineering test design lead for Apple's New Product Introduction team, according to the ad, and someone who is "motivated by changing the planet." Apple acknowledges the position is a "tough job," but refers to it as "a terrific position for someone interested in working in a fast-paced environment and willing to drive exciting cross-functional projects."