Update: Verizon issued the following Statement to us this morning then another one:
We’re working to provide expanded services that will provide the best security and user experience in the market around m-commerce. We expect to provide access to an open wallet when those goals are achieved.
The Galaxy Nexus headed to Verizon Wireless in the next week or so won’t feature Google Wallet, even though it has the NFC chip to do so, we have learned. The app won’t be available in the Android Market for Verizon Galaxy Nexus users. Big Red simply blocked it.
Blasphemy you say? “Pure Google Android?” Nope. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus will receive its updates directly from Google, not a carrier. But Google caved to Verizon and blocked Wallet from the device.
The reason Verizon has chosen to kick Wallet out of the device is likely because of their recent creation of a new mobile payment project called ISIS. ISIS not only features Verizon, but also is a partnership with AT&T and T-mobile to build a new mobile payment network much like Wallet. It is supposed to roll out in 2012.
The Nexus S on the remaining U.S. big four carrier Sprint was the introductory device to receive Google Wallet but many would guess that the Galaxy Nexus, being pure Google, would see Google Wallet.
Luckily, Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus will still feature NFC technology like the European version does. You’ll still be able to use NFC enabled apps including the ability to swap files and tap NFC enabled signs — just not Google Wallet.
So where does Google Wallet go next?
Since Verizon won’t offer it, we’d imagine the rumor of T-mobile and AT&T receiving the Galaxy Nexus will probably stand true. It’s just not clear yet if they will block Wallet too. Is Sprint Google’s only salvation? Hopefully not.
Google should allow its Nexus Users to sideload the Wallet app if the carriers, in this case Verizon, block it. IT is a Google phone after all. why can’t we use a Google app? Especially one that doesn’t interfere with Verizon’s core functionality.
The Galaxy Nexus is reportedly launching for $299 on two-year contract, says WSJ. If that stands true, the Galaxy Nexus will be matched in terms of price with the Droid RAZR and HTC Rezound and of course the 32GB iPhone. Hopefully, we’ll see significant discounts on the Galaxy Nexus, just like the Rezound and RAZR, which were free for two weeks at Amazon and are still significantly reduced.
While a December 9th-ish release date still sounds about right, there’s no official word. We’ll let you know when we hear more.