Speculation that Google is preparing an aggressive assault on the mobile market has been given added weight by the emergence of a Google patent related to mobile phone payments.
The search giant filed for a patent on its 'Gpay' technology last year but its existence was only published last week, leading to a new round of rumours over the company's mobile strategy.
The patent is for a "computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic online payment" triggered by a mobile phone text message.
However, a Google spokesperson played down the patent. "We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't," the spokesperson told The Times.
The mobile market has long been seen as a part of Google's wider strategy to make the world's information easily accessible to everyone. Google has struck deals with mobile makers such as LG and Samsung to get its software onto handsets, but analysts have predicted that the company is planning a more ambitious move to take on Apple's iPhone with a so-called 'Gphone'. Google has so far refused to comment.