Verizon: We are not 'blocking' Google Wallet

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Verizon Wireless Google Wallet

Following my report that Verizon's Galaxy Nexus phone would not support Google Wallet, Verizon Wireless has issued a statement clarifying its position on the matter.

As I reported yesterday, Verizon opted not to include the Google Wallet service on its version of the new Nexus device, according to a Google spokesperson. From my original story:

A Google spokesperson confirms to me that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will not include Google Wallet -- and that the choice was made by (you guessed it) Verizon. The carrier, as you may recall, has been working on its own NFC-based payment service for some time now; the decision may or may not be related.

Some websites went on to state that Verizon was "blocking" the Google Wallet application from the Galaxy Nexus phone. In its statement, the carrier refutes those claims, saying it "does not block applications" and discussing how security implications set Google Wallet apart from typical mobile applications. 

Here's the carrier's full statement:

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.

Verizon did not give any indication as to if or when it anticipates the Wallet app becoming available on its Galaxy Nexus device. In fact, the carrier did not specifically mention the Galaxy Nexus at all in its statement. 

Ultimately, it seems like we're arguing over semantics: Google says Verizon decided not to include the Wallet app on its Galaxy Nexus phone; Verizon says it did not "block" the application but rather believes it needs to be properly integrated

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into its phones' hardware before it can be used. We know the Galaxy Nexus has full NFC support, and it's hard to imagine Google would design its flagship Android 4.0 phone without proper hardware to power its own Wallet initiative. So interpret as you will.

However you want to explain it, the same story from yesterday still stands: The Verizon Galaxy Nexus will not support Google Wallet.

Original story: Confirmed: Verizon Galaxy Nexus won't support Google Wallet (but will receive Google updates)

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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