The new Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be the next big phone to support the NFC technology for mobile payment systems like Google Wallet. Unfortunately, the Verizon version of this phone will have specifically Google Wallet, disabled on the device. According to a confirmation from Google, Verizon requested that the feature be disabled for their version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The reason for this was not given, but more than likely it was a strategic decision by Verizon, since they have invested in their own mobile payment service called Isis, which is a partnership Verizon Wireless formed with AT&T and T-Mobile USA. In fact, there are several different competing mobile payment systems being developed. Here's a quote from the CNET article with a few more details,
Sound off in the forums if this will affect your decision to get the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus."Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product," a Google representative told CNET.
It's unknown whether that omission is related to Isis, a partnership Verizon Wireless formed with AT&T and T-Mobile USA in an attempt to enter the mobile payments business.
Verizon Wireless representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
While several other companies have announced plans to launch their own digital wallets, Google was the first to market. Google's service, which launched in September, allows owners of Android smartphones equipped with NFC (near-field communications) technology to tap or swipe their phones to make purchases.
Update/Follow-Up: Apparently, Verizon has denied that they purposefully "blocked" the Google Wallet software from their version of the Galaxy Nexus. They claim that they do not block software and that the reason they requested its removal was more of a philosophical business difference that they have with Google. They indicated that the Google Wallet software integrates more fully into the core of the phone, and presents a security issue that they were not comfortable with. Here's a quote from the CNET follow-up article with some more details,
What do you guys think of their response? Does it seem plausible, or a convenient excuse? Update Source: CNET"Recent reports that Verizon is blocking Google Wallet on our devices are false," the company said in a statement today. "Verizon does not block applications."
Google Wallet, unlike other applications, needs to be integrated into a secure part of the phone that is proprietary to Verizon, the carrier said. As a result, Verizon and Google are still in commercial talks over the issue.
The issue is a rare instance in which Verizon and Google haven't been aligned...