A top European Google executive has confirmed that the internet search giant is developing a cellphone, according to a Spanish news report.

Isabel Aguilera, CEO of Google Spain and Portugal, is quoted as telling Spanish news website Noticias.com: "Some of the time the engineers are dedicated to developing a mobile phone." The translated remark was reported by CNet news service.

CBC News Online was not immediately able to reach Google spokespeople for comment on the remark, but the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has previously denied speculation and rumours about such claims.

On March 5, venture capitalist Simeon Simenov of Boston, Mass.-based Polaris Venture Partners wrote on his High Contrast blog that a team at Google was working on a mobile phone.

In his blog post, he says an unnamed source told him that the Google phone would be a "BlackBerry-like, slick device" that includes a range of services including voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities.

Google team has mobile pedigree

According to Simenov, Google's team is led by the founder of Danger Inc. — maker of the HipTop cellphone marketed by wireless carrier T-Mobile under the name SideKick.

"Andy Rubin has a team of about 100 people at Google working on the Google Phone," Simenov wrote.

Rubin sold his secretive Palo Alto, Calif., startup Android Inc. to Google in August 2005. He has described Android's work as making software for mobile phones.

In an interview with BusinessWeek magazine in 2003, Rubin said he saw huge potential in making location-aware devices that could respond totheir owners' preferences. "If people are smart, that information starts getting aggregated into consumer products," BusinessWeek quoted Rubin as saying.

Google already offers separate local and mobile search services.

Waterloo company may play role

In 2005, Google bought Waterloo, Ont.-based Reqwireless Inc., which made e-mail and web browser software for wireless devices.

Also in 2005, Google bought Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Skia, which was developing software that could display cutting-edge graphics on devices with low processing power such as cellphones and other handheld devices.

Rumours that Google is working with Samsung on a device have been fuelled by a partnership formed with the Korean electronics giant in January that will see Google's mobile services offered on some Samsung phones.