Two weeks ago, we reported that Apple was in the throes of a designer hiring spree at its new Apple Park Santa Clara Valley operation. Beginning in October, design openings jumped from 40 to 70 on January 12, 2018, a sharp increase for the company that was hiring an average of around 20-30 designers at any one time. The openings included such telling specialties as motion scientists, product managers, optical engineers, touch ASIC digital architect, iPhone System Engineer, Siri engineers, iPhone product managers, plastic tooling engineers, and prototype iOS Engineers. This jump in design openings led us - and many others who covered our story - to believe that Apple is up to something special, likely a new product design that - to this date - no one has thought of.

But there's One More Thing.

We discovered what appears to be an absolutely massive jump in hardware engineering positions at Apple's headquarters.

As you can see, starting in September with 665 hardware engineering openings, a swift upslope in positions this fall peaked just last week at 1,198 - a rise of 80%. In short, it's possible that whatever all those new designers are conuring, Apple needs thousands of engineers to make it happen.

The more recent openings include such niche job titles as Analog Layout Designer, Advanced Material Scientist (Electrolyte Development), 3D Perception/Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer, Sensor Design Engineer, Motion Sensing Hardware Engineer: Magnetics, and even a Flexible Display Technologist.

There has been plenty of conjecture as to what Apple could be up to next, and this list of highly skilled engineers certainly points to Apple creating somethign new and potentially industry-changing. All of these positions - and the uptick in openings - could point to anything from Apple VR, to new computer and smartphone input methods, to new displays technologies, or even new transportation devices like the long-rumored iCar that would compete with Google's self-driving car and Tesla's head start in the space.

Whatever it is that they're building, they're certainly investing in super-specialized engineers to make it happen.

We'll keep an eye on this one.

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