December 6, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
That “Pure Google” moniker that has been applied to Nexus devices will take another hit when the Galaxy Nexus is finally released on Verizon. Whenever that is. Google has confirmed to ComputerWorld that not only will the Galaxy Nexus feature two carrier-related bloatware apps preloaded, but it will also block a feature that the phone is capable of running.
Google Wallet will not be supported on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, despite the phone having the near field communication (NFC) technology required to run it. Google’s mobile payment solution will not be included at Verizon’s request, according to a spokesperson’s comments to JR Raphael of ComputerWorld. That’s likely because Verizon is part of its own NFC payment consortium and doesn’t want to support the competition.
“But this a Pure Google device! How can Verizon block the yada yada yada,” you say. Well, that’s not really true. As we’ve learned in recent years, there’s nothing pure about the American carrier system. A device is only as pure as the gatekeepers allow. The operating system might be free of intrusion, but the actual device is still under the grips of Verizon and buyers will have to deal with it.
Some have suggested that a hack from XDA will likely appear to make Wallet compatible, but that’s not something I would endorse just yet. Google Wallet includes certain security features built into the app and device that are designed to provide extra security for your financial information. I wouldn’t be very comfortable using any tweaked app until investigating and ensuring that the hacked version of Wallet provides equal protection.
Verizon has issued a statement on the issue saying they aren’t “blocking” Google Wallet, but they aren’t supporting it either.
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.