Yesterday, a Google representative confirmed that the upcoming Verizon Galaxy Nexus will not support Google Wallet, Google's NFC payment service. The news was disappointing - it is a Google phone after all, but understandable to a degree, since Verizon Wireless is part of the competing Isis consortium, which also partners with AT&T and T-Mobile.
Verizon Wireless, however, today posted a statement and wants everyone to know that it isn't blocking Google Wallet (they actually say "Verizon does not block applications" - orly?). "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."
How about that? A phone designed by Google from the ground up doesn't support Google's own service, with Google's own spokesperson pointing a finger at Verizon, if ComputerWorld's report is to be believed ("and that the choice was made by (you guessed it) Verizon").
Excuse me while I inconspicuously cough "bullshit" - the issue is clearly something else (money, partnerships, commercial agreements, call it whatever you want). History repeats itself - remember how the Nexus S on Sprint supports Google Wallet, but it doesn't on T-Mobile? It has been shown to work on the T-Mobile/AT&T Nexus S without a hitch. Guess what - T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless are all Isis' partners. Even Verizon gets confused at the end and states that they're "continuing commercial discussions with Google on this issue."
So, does anyone still think the app's omission on the Galaxy Nexus is merely an implementation problem? My guess is VZW's lawyers made it a point to never openly state the carrier's bias towards Google Wallet due to its allegiance to Isis. That way Verizon can't be accused of anti-competitive behavior in the future. It just really grinds my gears to see a political statement with the sole purpose of unjustly shifting the blame.
Statement From Verizon On Google Wallet
Statement from Jeffrey Nelson, spokesperson for Verizon:
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.
Source: Verizon Wireless