Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be looking for new ways to use plastic in its iPhone and iPad. 9to5Mac spotted a job listing for “an experienced plastics materials engineer” posted by the tech company.

Apple iPhone

Details on Apple’s job listing

The engineer would join the company’s iPad and iPhone Materials team. Although both devices do have internal components that are made of plastic, the job listing posted by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) makes specific mention of some aesthetic needs and cosmetic qualities. This could mean that the expert must be able to design aesthetically appealing plastic casings and other visible parts of the devices.

The importance of plastic at Apple

Lately the rumored plastic iPhone has been the talk of the tech industry. Numerous leaked photos have purported to show the plastic low cost iPhone in a variety of different colors. So an iPhone that’s made of plastic is pretty much expected. In fact, most industry watchers expect to see it on Sept. 10 along with the iPhone 5S.

However, what about a plastic iPad? Jordan Kohn of 9to5 Mac reminds us of photos from earlier this year showing that the next 10-inch iPad will take some design cues from the iPad Mini. However, he notes that it’s hard to think that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would be planning a less expensive iPad made of plastic, although it did create plastic prototypes early on in the development of the iPad.

It’s worth noting that one analyst expects Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to release not only an iPad Mini with Retina display, but also a low cost iPad Mini without a Retina display. Could the company be looking to expand its low cost line to the 10-inch iPad as well?

Of course it might be years before we know the answer to this question, but it’s always entertaining to see how the tech industry jumps to conclusions based on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s job listings.