By Scott Moritz
May 23, 2008

By Scott Moritz

Help wanted: Apple (AAPL) seeks wireless engineer to help steer its course in so-called fourth-generation technology.

The Cupertino, Calif. Mac maker has posted an opening for a senior engineer to “work in a technology group on next generation wireless communications products.” The job posting – which was first reported by the Appleinsider blog – ask for applicants with knowledge in “Bluetooth, 3G, ultrawideband, WiMAX, GPS, Mobile TV and similar wireless technologies.”

Clearly, Apple has plans to create new 4G mobile devices and build 4G wireless capabilities into existing products like notebooks, tablets and phones.

“I think they recognize that these are important and potentially viable technology standards,” says Michael Cote an independent wireless consultant. “Should these technologies gain traction, they would like to be on the forefront” in terms of products. Fourth-generation technology is expected as early as 2010.

Apple’s wishlist of 4G skills for its future engineer stands out for another reason: the presence of WiMax and the absence of long term evolution, or LTE. Is this an endorsement of the Sprint/Clearwire/Intel WiMax camp and a rejection of the fourth-generation LTE path wireless embraced by telco giants AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ)?

No, says Cote, don’t jump to any WiMax conclusions. The reason you don’t see LTE on the list is because it doesn’t yet exist as a standard. It might be appear a little suspicious if someone said they had LTE experience, says Cote.

The job listing goes on to say that candidates must be open to global travel, flexible in changing work environments and “be fluent in wireless communications standards and wireless technology.”

Picture a Maxwell Smart-type character that speaks in 4G.

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