One of the many things we track here at Thinknum are job openings at companies that matter. One such company that matters is Apple ($AAPL), who The Verge recently called the “most powerful and influential company in consumer tech”.

Job openings can tell you a lot about what a company is up to. It’s not perfect science, but if a company is aggressively hiring designers and engineers, it’s reasonable to assume that it is designing and engineering something new.

That’s exactly the case with Apple. According to our data (which is pulled right from Apple’s own HR website), Apple began hiring designers in October, with openings jumping from an average of 40 or less to a peak of 70 new openings January 12, 2018. Normally, this wouldn't be too big of a deal - Apple hires designers and engineers all the time. But in this case, the uptick is severe, and the job titles are telling.

The graph speaks for itself in many ways, but one thing is fairly certain: Apple is bringing on people in their design teams to design something new, or at least scaling out what they’re already doing.

Digging deeper into the openings, a large number of engineers and designers are being assembled at Apple’s spaceship-like Apple Park Santa Clara Valley operation, which only recently opened.

Job titles in the surge include Product Management, 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. And that’s just in the past 24 hours.

One could attempt to connect the dots, but that would be beyond the scope of what we do here at Thinknum. Know this, though: Apple is hiring more creative people for future products that have something to do with the iPhone than they have in a long, long time.

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