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Update: No Google Wallet on Verizon's coming Galaxy Nexus

Word comes as Verizon works with partners on competing mobile payment system called Isis

December 6, 2011 04:42 PM ET

Computerworld - Google Wallet, a mobile payment app, won't appear on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone from Verizon Wireless, a Google spokesman told Computerworld blogger JR Raphael this week.

The Google spokesman told Raphael that Verizon chose not to use Google wallet, but declined further comment.

A Verizon spokesman said this afternoon that Verizon is not technically blocking Google Wallet, as some reports have indicated, adding that Verizon continues to discuss the issue with Google.

The spokesman, Jeffrey Nelson, noted that Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new hardware element in Verizon phones to work properly, which makes it different than other applications.

"Google Wallet is different from other widely-available m-commerce services," he said in an e-mailed comment. "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."

The Washington Post reported that Verizon Tuesday said it is blocking Google Wallet while waiting to provide a wallet application until it can offer "the best security and user experience."

Verizon is working with AT&T and T-Mobile USA to create a competing mobile payment system and software called Isis, which uses Near Field Communication, or NFC, technology. NFC is also used in Sprint's Nexus S smartphone, which supported the first iteration of Google Wallet.

Without the support of the Isis carriers or at least Verizon -- the largest U.S. carrier, with 107 million subscribers -- Google Wallet faces an uphill battle, analysts have said.

Isis is planning trial projects in Salt Lake City and Austin during the first half of 2012.

The Isis network last September announced that seven major manufacturers -- HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, Research In Motion, Samsung and Sony Ericsson -- would issue NFC smartphones that use Isis standards and related software.

Verizon's Galaxy Nexus on 4G LTE has been eagerly awaited by the Android faithful because it's the first device set to run Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

Blogger Raphael has praised the phone's pure Android experience and also confirmed yesterday that Google, not Verizon, will provide any future updates to the device.

Some reports suggested that the Galaxy Nexus has been repeatedly delayed on Verizon's 4G LTE network because of discussions with Google about how much control Verizon would have over the phone's features, apps and software.

Carriers typically customize smartphones beyond plain Android, and that's why the Galaxy Nexus is different from other phones.

The Galaxy Nexus has already appeared in the U.K. and will be launched in Canada this week. Some photos of red packaging have been leaked that indicate the device could be nearing its Verizon launch, perhaps on Friday.

Verizon still has not disclosed an official launch date for the device.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter@matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed Hamblen RSS. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.



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