Ingram Micro (symbol: IM) has hired Michael Romero as VP and GM of the distributor's new Mobile Business Unit in North America. The move is part of a growing trend in the IT distribution market, where most of the major players -- everyone from Avnet (AVT) to Tech Data (TECD) and Synnex (SNX) -- have growing mobile initiatives to assist VARs and MSPs.

Romero has previous experience at SanDisk's Mobile Retail Division and at Avnet. He reports to Brian Wiser, senior VP of Ingram Micro's Specialty Solutions Division, North America. And more moves are coming: It sounds like Romero is building an expanded mobile team that will include two new senior directors -- one to focus on sales and business development, and one to focus on vendor management. Ingram Micro also will launch a mobile marketing campaign in April, the company indicated.

In a prepared statement, Wiser said: “The mobile marketplace – from handsets to smartphones, accessories, tablets, laptops, activation services and fully integrated mobile solutions – has become one of the fastest-growing, high-margin technology segments worldwide and is an area of strategic importance and global growth for Ingram Micro."

The most important phrase in that quote: "High-margin technology segment." Often, VARs and MSPs consider mobile technology a low-margin opportunity. (Anybody else remember the temporary netbook craze?) But opportunities in App development and mobile device management (MDM) continue to grow, and many of those opportunities involve recurring revenue engagements.

Ingram Micro has plenty of IT distributor competition in the mobile market. Avnet offers MobilityPath guidance, Tech Data promotes TDMobility, and Synnex develops Mobile App Solutions for its partners. And of course, many specialty distributors focus purely on the mobile market. The interesting twist: Ingram says there's a difference between "mobile" and "mobility." Splitting hairs? Or is there something to that? The VAR Guy is investigating.