Apple Inc. is buying the mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless, a bet on the future of cell phone ads that steps up competition with rival Silicon Valley powerhouse Google Inc.
Apple Inc. already has a strong edge in the high-end cell phone market with its iPhone. In buying Quattro, it is getting into the business of selling the ads that appear on the device and other smart phones.
That market is still relatively small, but some forecasters expect big growth as consumers switch to phones with Web browsing and other advanced features.
Among others looking to tap that market is Google, which is seeking to expand its dominance in online ads with the $750 million acquisition of rival mobile ad network AdMob.
At the same time, Google is stepping onto the iPhone's turf, announcing Tuesday that it will be selling its own phone, the Nexus One.