updated 10:30 am EST, Tue November 9, 2010
Company looking at new Bluetooth gear?
Apple has quietly absorbed a small, San Francisco-based Bluetooth headphone maker, Wi-Gear, a 9to5Mac source claims. The deal is in fact said to have happened two months ago, for an undisclosed amount of money. Wi-Gear is now closed, and one of the company's co-founders, Michael Kim, has become an iOS Bluetooth engineer at Apple. It's not clear what's become of CEO Mark Pundsack, who has not updated his LinkedIn profile.
Wi-Gear was best known for creating the iMuffs, a set of Bluetooth headphones with built-in playback controls. The gear was specifically designed to support iPhones and iPods. It's believed that Apple may have bought Wi-Gear in order to work on new stereo Bluetooth headphones, which could be bundled with future handhelds or sold as a separate item.
Apple has not had much success with Bluetooth audio. iOS devices have, until recently, lagged behind the industry in terms of supporting all the latest Bluetooth features. The company briefly produced a mono Bluetooth earpiece for the iPhone, but it proved unpopular and was discontinued.