In another stage of its mounting battle with Google, Apple has hired two mobile ad industry big hitters - with wide implications for the future of apps on its iPhone and iPad products.

New Media Age reports that the iPhone maker has hired former Microsoft EMEA mobile advertising sales manager Theo Theodorou as head of sales EMEA at its recently acquired mobile ad network Quattro Wireless.

Theodorou was once responsible for building Microsoft's mobile ad network in new territories. He lists his business specialities as business development, managing teams, managing multiple territories, online advertising, and mobile advertising.

Apple iPad mobile advertising in Apple apps

Apple's $275/£171 million purchase of Quattro Wireless followed Google's November purchase of AdMob, another mobile ad provider, for $750 million. Both Quattro and AdMob focus on in-application and other types of mobile ads, which are displayed on like the iPhone or those that run Google's Android operating system.

Andy Miller, CEO and co-founder of Quattro Wireless, became Apple's Vice President of Mobile Advertising - reporting directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

At the start of the year he said "We have built our business by enabling advertisers to reach the right consumers across the mobile web and in applications. We remain focused on delivering more engaging, relevant and useful ads to mobile devices, and improving the measurement and execution of digital campaigns. Together with Apple, we look forward to developing exciting new opportunities in the future that will benefit our customers. "

Following the launch of the Apple iPad, TechCrunch blogger Robin Wauters said: "Owning Quattro, Apple has picked up another moneymaker from the App Store goldrush it has itself unleased, and the iPad will only reinforce that situation."

"The purchase of Quattro Wireless was always about advancing the hit rate of in-app advertising rather than the monetization of websites viewed on the iPhone or iPad browser anyway."

Another person joining Apple from Quattro is Todd Tran, previously MD of mobile marketing agency. He becomes the Apple mobile ad network's general manager for Europe, reports NMA.