updated 03:10 pm EST, Wed January 26, 2011
May be connected to iPhone, iPad NFC plans
Apple is hiring for at least three positions which may be connected to NFC payment technology for the iPhone and/or iPad, says AppleInsider. One of the roles is an iPhone test engineer; unusually, a required area of expertise is RFID, a form of NFC which could be particularly relevant in retail transactions. Candidates must be extremely well-qualified in a number of areas, preferably having a PhD.
The two other cited jobs both share the title of "Manager Global Payment Platforms." Successful hires will have to manage customer payments and business partnerships related to the purchase of Apple goods on the web, through iTunes and at retail. Additionally however workers will have to "explore new global payment initiatives and expansion," which could leave room for NFC initiatives.
Rumored Apple plans include an overhauled iTunes capable of processing transactions, and specialized payment terminals that the company may be providing to retailers on a free or subsidized basis. NFC-equipped devices might also be used for less overtly commercial purposes, such as triggering ads or syncing preferences between Macs. Apple has filed for a number of NFC-related patents in recent years, and in 2010 hired Benjamin Vigier, an NFC specialist since 2004.