The new Nexus 7 does not support Google Wallet - officially. Why? It lacks the hardware component necessary to securely store your payment credentials for NFC transactions, aka the "secure element." The AT&T and Google Play Edition HTC Ones don't have this element, either.

The latter, to me, is something I can understand finding a bit annoying. The former, though - that being the new Nexus 7 - really isn't. Granted, I do not own a new Nexus 7 or a Google Play Edition HTC One, nor am I anything close to Google Wallet's biggest fan. In fact, I've only ever even tried to use it once, and it didn't work, and so I never bothered with it again. But I can see that, on a phone, Wallet at least makes sense as an additional feature. You carry your phone with you at all times, like your wallet. But your tablet? I'm sure some people have a tablet with them every single day for most of the day, but let's be realistic: that is absolutely a minority. And I'm guessing those same people also carry smartphones.

But there is significant anger being expressed about a Wallet-less Nexus 7. The argument seem to boil down to "if this is a Nexus device, it should have Wallet - period." It really doesn't seem to be a matter of making a case for Wallet on the Nexus 7, but a simple sentiment that if Google develops a product or feature that works with Android, a Nexus device should have it, regardless of the usefulness of said product or feature on that device. I think this is reactionary.

Would I have rather have a Nexus 7 with Wallet than one without it? Sure, I guess. Let me explain the flaw with this line of thinking, though. Would you rather your car have 4 cupholders instead of 3? Well, obviously. Would you rather your small laptop have a CD drive than not? Of course. Would you rather your phone have two SIM slots instead of just one? Sure, why not? I think you may see where I'm going: with every product, the designers and engineers have to have a point at which they say "OK, we're not adding anything else." And the secure element was on the wrong side of that chopping block when the new Nexus 7 was finalized.

We don't know why that is, exactly, but there are two pretty good guesses we can make. First, Google simply decided it was not worth the added cost or complexity when weighed against what is likely near-zero usage of Wallet on the current Nexus 7. Let's be realistic: how many people have you ever seen paying with Google Wallet - not counting yourself - using a tablet? I'm sure one or two of you have, but you get the gist: it's a niche within a niche within a niche. Why add to the cost of the device to include a feature that almost no one is going to use? It's a fair point.

The second option is that Wallet will come to the Nexus 7. Google has, admittedly, done a pretty crap job getting widespread adoption on Wallet. Credit card processors don't really like it, wireless carriers in the US (aside from Sprint) definitely don't like it, and I don't even think many consumers are too enthusiastic about it. Wallet is in desperate need of revamping. I think it's entirely possible that Google is ditching the SE-based payment paradigm and trying to dream up something more radical (... like the now-dead Wallet card). Or perhaps Wallet will move to the SIM-based credential storage systems like Isis use.

In either scenario, I ask you: does it really matter, at the end of the day, if the new Nexus 7 has Google Wallet? Or is it that 4th cupholder - nice to have, but far from necessary? Choose you response in the poll, and elaborate in the comments section, below.

Does the new Nexus 7 not having Google Wallet really matter?

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