Apple posted a new job listing this week for a Manufacturing Design Engineer with a focus in Advanced Plastic Tooling and Process, a position that could be related to building the rumored low-cost iPhone.
"Identify, develop and launch new tooling and process capabilities in support of new Apple product developments," read the post. "Areas of focus will be 'non-traditional' Apple plastic processing such as thermoforming, foam molding, blow molding, etc., and their application to new Apple products."
"The successful candidate will have demonstrated history of bringing new process and tooling technologies through a full development cycle and launch into high volume production," added Apple.
Apple normally uses aluminum for creating the back plates on its devices such as the iPhone and iPad. However, it also uses plastic as it did with Apple TV, the Airport Extreme, keyboards, and other accessories.
The recent low cost iPhone rumors have pointed to Apple using plastic for the upcoming device. It is also said to be a hybrid of the iPhone 5 and the iPod Touch with a plastic enclosure.
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5S and this cheaper version of the iPhone 5 sometime this year.
DigiTimes published a new report backtracking on its earlier claim that stated that Apple would launch two iPhones this year with bigger screens and lower price tags. Instead the company will release two 4-inch models including the iPhone 5S, which should feature some new specs including a faster processor, and an iPhone 5 that's form factor might be based around a plastic shell in order to make it more affordable for low-end markets.
The report also notes that Apple might struggle to bring in-cell display technology to a lower-cost iPhone due to issues with yields on the panels. This technology allows for the thinner profile seen on the iPhone 5, however, yields on it are said to be improving.