iPhone 6 Release Date Rumour: Is Apple Building a Plastic-Wrapped iPhablet for the Next-Gen iPhone?

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By Erik Pineda | August 29, 2013 3:04 PM EST

Can you imagine the iPhone 6 encased in a unibody plastic material on its release date? This possibility is hinted in Apple's new job listing that specifically hunts for engineers with years of expertise in plastic moulding.

According to MacRumors, citing 9to5Mac as its source, Apple is actively searching for new employees that will be tasked to develop and implement production plans directly related in the use of plastic materials. The team will be headed by a Plastic Tooling Engineer and a Manufacturing Design Engineer.

The tech giant is looking to hire candidates with more than a decade of experience in the plastic moulding industry with emphasis on meeting "the structural and aesthetic requirements of a wide range of part designs," the same report said.

Also, core functions of the job listing are to "identify, develop and launch new tooling and process capabilities in support of new Apple product developments."

While the personnel that Apple searches can be easily connected to the iPhone 5C, which analysts said is covered mostly in plastic, it is understood that development of the device has been completed long time ago and it is already in production stage owing to its supposed September release date, along with the flagship iPhone 5S.

With the 5C eliminated, the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 come to mind though leaked specs of the two tablets so far suggest they are draped in metal case just like the previous builds.

It is the phablet-size iPhone 6 then that emerges as the likely recipient of Apple's growing interest in developing plastic-based materials for its gadgets though MacRumors noted that plastic is not exactly a new material on the company's supply chain as they are widely used in the production of iOS devices and their accessories.

Yet by highlighting 'aesthetic' on its head-hunting, Apple seems to be signalling the future assembly of a major product, which directly points to what is touted as the first iPhone to breach the 4-inch screen size with radical redesign.

In such case, Apple will revert to the materials it used when the first batches of iPods and iPhones were rolled out more than five years ago. It could also mark the tech firm's departure from aluminium as the prime material covering its various ranges of gadgets.

The move could cut considerable costs for Apple and provide more room for iOS device designers to come up with smartphones and tablet computers that are thin and light.

To date, the tech giant has yet to hint anything that it is working on the iPhone 6 so its existence is pretty much based on rumours, patent links, analysts' projections and numerous renders published by budding designers.

Notwithstanding, the iOS 7-powered iPhone 6 is pegged by experts for a Q1 2014 release date, likely sporting a screen size that is no lower than 4.5-inch, powered by an A8 processing chip, a wrap-around Retina-laced screen and control buttons that fades out from sight when not in use.

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