Apple buys mobile ad company

Apple has agreed to buy Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising and publishing company. The move puts Apple in head-to-head competition with Google which just unveiled its new Nexus One phone (see below).

Quattro runs advertising networks for smartphone applications and for the mobile Web. Its advertisers roster include Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Netflix and Disney. Google purchased a rival mobile ad firm, AdMob, in November.

Selling mobile ads will give Apple another revenue source from the iPhone apps that it offers through its App Store. Apple said it had logged its 3 billionth download from the App Store.

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