Apple Reentering Bluetooth Arena [Update]

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on November 10th, 2010

One of the main compliments typically paid to Apple is that the company does a great job of making sleek, attractive hardware that is generally easy to use. That's why it's such a surprise how badly the company has flubbed past attempts at creating first-party Bluetooth headsets for the iOS market. It seems that won't be an issue much longer though, as a recent acquisition should allow Apple to grow much more competitive in the Bluetooth market.

Update: Upon further review, it seems that Apple hasn't acquired Wi-Gear after all. Despite earlier reports, company CEO Mark Pundsack stated, "The rumor is false. Wi-Gear and its IP are still available for sale." What actually transpired is that Wi-Gear co-founder Michael Kim accepted a new position at Apple, but the company he started wasn't part of the deal.

The company has apparently bought Wi-Gear, a small, San Francisco based Bluetooth headset manufacturer which specialized in iOS devices. Wi-Gear created the iMuffs style of headsets as well as releasing a Bluetooth 2.0 adapter which allowed older model iPhones and iPods to play nice with newer gear. Now it seems that the company will begin creating Apple-branded headsets which will become the "official" Bluetooth devices for iOS machines (and possibly Mac as well). As of yet no firm timetable has been set for Wi-Gear's first official Apple product.

With an arrangement such as this the sky is the limit for iOS Bluetooth integration. With a new company brought in specifically to handle this aspect of the business, we may finally see Apple fully embrace the technology, which will be a huge boon to business consumers and those who prefer a hands-free setup. While the iPhone has always supported Bluetooth, making it a focus will likely be a net gain by improving functionality and building features with Bluetooth support in mind. Also, could this mean that future iPhones may even come with an official Apple Bluetooth headset? At this point it's just wishful thinking, but such a pack-in would definitely be welcomed by many consumers.

We'll keep an eye out for any official product announcements from Wi-Gear. We've got our iMuffs plugged into our ears and await their call with more official info.

[via 9to5Mac]