Adding to rumors that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 2014 iPhone model, dubbed the “iPhone 6,” is likely to feature a new A-series processor, manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC (NYSE:TSM), a report that came out Thursday has said that Apple will hire more people to open a new research and development, or R&D, center for future iPhones in Taipei, Taiwan.
According to a leaked internal communications document, obtained by VR-Zone, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is recruiting for a new engineering development team in Taiwan, which will work on “the next generation of iPhone product development” and other future products, while reporting directly to Apple’s headquarters in California.
Apple is looking for experienced and junior-level engineers, as well as executives to fill management positions. But, while the company is expected to start the recruiting process in September, it has not advertised the positions and is said to be looking for candidates by word of mouth, AppleInsider reported.
Some of the positions in the new R&D center in Taiwan that Apple is looking to fill are in the areas of hardware development, panel process and optics, and product development. The company is also looking to hire mechanical engineers, materials technical program managers, test engineers, software QA engineers, reliability engineers and engineering project managers to name a few.
If the VR-Zone report turns out to be true, establishing a Taiwanese development center could prove to be a clever move by Apple as this is where most of the company’s component suppliers are now based. The creation of the new engineering development team also could be related to the recent agreement between Apple and TSMC to produce A-series chips for future iOS devices beginning in 2014.
Media reports about a TSMC-built processor for the iPhone 6 in 2014 started appearing earlier this year when Taiwan's Economic Daily News reported that Apple’s 2014 iPhone model would be powered by a new A7 chip, made by TSMC. Subsequent reports said that the Taiwanese chip-maker could even grab 100 percent of the application processors order for the 2014 model of the Apple iPhone.
In June, DigiTimes published a report saying that TSMC and its integrated circuit design service partner, Global UniChip, would supply the new A-series chips, built on 20-nanometer, 16-nanometer and 10-nanometer process nodes for upcoming iOS devices in 2014 and beyond.
Coming back to the VR-Zone report, it is better to take the latest tidbit with a grain of salt as Apple is yet to make anything official regarding its new R&D center in Taiwan. But, it is worth mentioning here that the source has accurately predicted other Apple-related developments in the past.
For instance, the website reported in September 2011 that Apple was testing USB 3.0 ports for its line of Mac computers, and the company indeed released the first Macs -- the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro -- with the feature in June 2012.