Apple's Rumored Wi-Gear Acquisition is Interesting

Apple's rumored acquisition of Wi-Gear is a rare move involving consumer hardware, rather than technology or services. What's the deal?

Wi-Gear's claim to fame is iMuffs, a set of Bluetooth wireless headphones for iPhones and iPods. The company was in the business for three generations of iOS devices before being bought by Apple for an undisclosed sum, .

Apple has not yet confirmed the report, but Wi-Gear co-founder Michael Kim lists his current job as iOS Bluetooth Engineer at Apple Inc., and Wi-Gear's Website says the company is no longer in business.

9to5Mac's Seth Weintraub thinks Apple will use Wi-Gear's expertise to build stereo Bluetooth headphones for future iOS devices and MacBooks. I'm not convinced this is the whole story.

With acquisitions, Apple's intent isn't always obvious or even in-line with rumors. When the company in December 2009, suggested that the team was put to work on a Web-based version of iTunes. So far, that hasn't panned out, and said Apple instead used Lala's talent for streaming video.

Apple also , the maker of a personal assistant app, with the assumption by some tech watchers that Apple would integrate these features into iOS. Again, that hasn't happened. Another : Siri has really good voice recognition features, which Apple could use, especially as Google is making .