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Apple rumored to have bought Wi-Gear, wireless headphone maker [Updated]

November 9, 2010 | 12:53 pm

The Internet is burning with rumors that Apple has bought Wi-Gear, a small San Francisco company that made wireless headphones for the iPhone and iPod. IMuffsIntro

The company recently ceased operations, according to the Wi-Gear website, and on Tuesday Apple-fan blogs were rampant with speculation that Apple took over the firm.

One such website, 9to5 Mac, was citing an anonymous source stating that Apple indeed did buy Wi-Gear.

Adding to the hype is the LinkedIn.com profile of Michael Kim, Wi-Gear's co-founder and former lead electrical engineer, who is now listed as working for Apple.

Kim took a post as an iOS bluetooth engineer at Apple about 2 months ago, according to the profile.

Wi-Gear built just one product, the iMuffs, which used an adapter that plugged into the bottom of an iPod or iPhone and used a Bluetooth connection to deliver sound through headphones that featured on the earpiece buttons to pause and play music, and switch song tracks.

Apple officials were unavailable for comment.

But, whether or not Apple bought Wi-Gear, it appears that the company has at least got Kim.

Could this mean the end of the wired earbuds that have been packed alongside iPhones and iPods since the iconic music player's launch in 2001? Might we see wireless headphones become the standard equipment for Apple's mobile devices down the road?

What sort of headphones, wired or wireless, would you want to see packed in with Apple products? Sound off in the comments.

[Updated 1:03 p.m.] Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company was declining comment on the Wi-Gear purchase rumors.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: iMuffs product information from wi-gear.com. Credit: Wi-Gear.

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