News by Dan Seifert on Tuesday December 06, 2011.
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Earlier today, Verizon Wireless gave a statement concerning the lack of Google Wallet in the Galaxy Nexus that made it sound like security was the reason for its omittance. Now, the carrier says that because of the hardware requirements of Google Wallet, it is not found in the Galaxy Nexus, though Verizon does leave the option open for Google Wallet on other phones in the future.
Verizon says that contrary to many reports, it does not block apps on its phones, and it is not blocking Google Wallet from the Galaxy Nexus. The company's full statement is as follows:
"Recent reports that Verizon is blocking Google Wallet on our devices are false. Verizon does not block applications.
"Google Wallet is different from other widely-available m-commerce services. Google Wallet does not simply access the operating system and basic hardware of our phones like thousands of other applications. Instead, in order to work as architected by Google, Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones.
"We are continuing our commercial discussions with Google on this issue."
Reading that, one would assume that the Galaxy Nexus is missing the particular hardware that is required to support Google Wallet. However, that does not jive with Google's statement that Verizon asked it not to include the Google Wallet functionality in the phone. Furthermore, users have been able to load the Google Wallet app on the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus and use it without issue, proving that the hardware is certainly capable of supporting the Google Wallet service. Granted, there are hardware differences between the GSM Galaxy Nexus and the CDMA/LTE model that Verizon will carry, but as far as we know, they are related to the cellular radio, and not the NFC chip that Google Wallet uses. Google's own spec sheet (found at www.google.com/nexus) calls out the NFC capabilities of the LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus, proving that the phone has the chip already installed.
It is more likely the case, regardless of what the carrier wants to admit, that Verizon has chosen to not offer Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus in an effort to protect its own business interests and promote its Isis mobile payment service that is due to arrive next year. Hopefully Verizon will change its tune in the future, and users will be able to choose for themselves whether or not they want to use Google Wallet, but for now, it seems like the Galaxy Nexus will be offered sans Google Wallet, whether you like it or not.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.