Apple reportedly acquires web app firm Particle

It’s been a busy year for Apple acquisitions. The company has picked up Chomp, an app discovery startup, AuthenTec, who makes NFC chips and smart sensors, and there was even talk of it buying The Fancy.

Well it looks like we might be able to add another one to that list. Reports are coming in tonight that Apple has acquired Particle, a San Francisco-based creative consulting firm that specializes in HTML5 web apps…

CNET has the scoop:

 “The deal went through late last month, though not all its less than a dozen employees stayed on to work at Apple. Those who did are listed as “creative technologists” as well as one “user interface engineer,” according to their public LinkedIn profiles.

Several of Particle’s employees previously worked with Yahoo as part of its user experience design group. Founder and Chief Technology Officer Aubry Anderson also consulted for Apple between 2006 and 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.”

Particle was founded in early 2008 and has some pretty high profile financial backers. Pop star slash actor Justin Timberlake is an investor and helped fund the company’s short social video service,

What could Apple want with an HTML5 company? Think iAds. Or more importantly, think iCloud. Apple recently pushed out a major update to featuring new Notes and Reminder web apps.

But if we’re reaching, one could also speculate that this has something to do with the reports we heard last month that Apple is working on a music streaming service that would “challenge Pandora in web radio.”

Apple has not responded to requests for comment on the report, but the company rarely announces acquisitions. Currently, CNET is the only one quoting a source on this topic and the purchase price is unknown.

What do you think the reason behind the acquisition could be?