The publication of a Google patent for mobile payments has prompted a new round of speculation that the company is preparing to release its long-expected Gphone.

The company had filed for a patent on its 'Gpay' technology last year, but its existence was only revealed last week. The patent is for a "computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic online payment" triggered by a mobile phone text message.

However, Google tried to put a dampener on the speculation. "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," a company spokesman 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.