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Move over, Smart Car. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) may be in talks with automakers to develop an in-car infotainment system similar to Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) SYNC, a popular add-on for some Ford (NYSE: F ) vehicles.
How do we know? We don't, but a headhunter posting in the automotive section of LinkedIn's China edition says the Mac maker is looking for a quality engineer with "over 4 years mechanical engineering" experience -- something first noticed in Car News China,.
Car site Jalopnik speculates that Apple could be seeking someone to help manufacture a device designed to fit in a car dashboard. Emphasis on "could be." "This is nowhere near definitive proof that Apple is entering the space, but it's certainly a big clue that they might be," writer Matt Hardigree explains in the piece.
He's right, but the timing is incredibly interesting. Not only has Ford put SYNC into more than 4 million cars on the road, but also last month chip giant and Apple partner Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) last month launched a $100 million Connected Car Fund through its Intel Capital subsidiary.
Coincidence? Maybe, but to me it seems much more likely that Apple's treasure hoard is being spent on reinventing the car interior. Everything from networking to infotainment to advanced navigation and speech-activated functionality has to be on the table. Apple has plenty to contribute with iTunes and its popular Siri voice-recognition technology.
Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong in the comments box below if you'd like. Or if you're curious about how chips, networks, and other advanced technology are remaking how and where we consume media, download The Motley Fool's special report on the rise of mobile computing: "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution." The research is free, but only for a limited time. Get your copy now.