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Google Euro Boss Confirms Phone Rumor

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) isn't confirming -- or denying -- statements made by one of its key European executives, who says that the search giant is considering a low-cost Google mobile phone.



Isabel Aguilera, the head of Google in Spain and Portugal, told Spanish Website Noticias that the company's engineers have been looking into mobile phones. The news broke on Thursday. She stressed, however, that it was only one of 18 projects in the lab.

Aguilera's comments come hard on the heels of claims by Polaris Venture Partners general partner Simeon Simeonov that Google had a 100-strong team working on a device. Simeonov told Unstrung earlier this month that Google is working on a BlackBerry-like device that would run Java -- and possibly Linux -- and support services such as voice over IP. (See Google Spy: Big Team Picking Up Phone.)

Despite the mounting evidence that the search giant may have a device or two up its sleeve, however, a spokeswoman out of Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters wouldn't directly comment on Aguilera's phone talk.

"Mobile is an important area for Google, and we remain focused on creating applications and establishing and growing partnerships with industry leaders to develop innovative services for users worldwide," she said. "However, we have nothing further to announce."

The company did not reply to further questions.

Mobile devices are seen by analysts as one channel that the company hasn't yet really mined for ad revenues. Yet all agree that mobile will be an increasingly important conduit for the search-related ads that make the bulk of Google's money. That's part of the raison d'être behind an own-brand Google phone.

Google has already started to make some moves in this area. It has separate software-related partnerships with mobile giants Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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