Google has moved to crush the internet chatter about it building a mobile phone. Instead, the company said it was far more likely to concentrate on software and to form close bonds with existing handset makers.

"At this point in time, we are very focused on the software, not the phone," said Google's Richard Kimber at in a speech at the Search Engine Room conference in Sydney, Australia.

Kimber said that Google was working on making its online search available on more mobile devices, but that making an iPhone-rivalling handset was not on the cards.

The news comes after the boss of Google in Spain, Isabel Aguilera, appeared to confirm a Google mobile phone. She was reported as saying, "Some of the time the engineers are dedicated to developing a mobile phone."

'Overmisunderstood'

But in the light of Kimber's comments in Australia , it seems likely that Aguilera was either misunderstood or misquoted.

Kimber's comments have poured some very cold water on the whole Google phone rumour bandwagon, and appear to have backed up what Google's chief internet evangelist, Vinton Cerf, told the Sydney Morning Herrald last month.

"Becoming an equipment manufacturer is pretty far from our business model. On the other hand, we're very interested in the platforms that other people are building. We are quite eager to be part of the mobile revolution." He said.

The whole debacle smells very strongly of the avalanche of rumours last which said that Google was building its own line of PCs. Those rumours turned out to be entirely false, and it turned out that Google was just putting together some basic software packages