Verizon is making an effort to say that it’s not blocking Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus, but the mobile payment service still won’t be on the first U.S. Ice Cream Sandwich device.
Verizon states a case for itself in a very vague manner:
“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.”
Essentially the carrier is saying that the answer to Google Wallet isn’t no, it’s just not now. Since this press release indirectly addresses the problem, speculation continues. Some are reporting that Verizon doesn’t want Google Wallet competing with its ISIS NFC technology, which is a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Others believe Google Wallet is exclusive to Sprint Android phones for the moment.
I think it’s a little bit of both. Since three of the four major U.S. carriers are investing time in ISIS, Sprint obviously needs its own NFC technology to show off, so it’s placing all bets on what Google has pioneered. If this is true, Verizon will probably have to elaborate a bit more on its decision to stray away from Wallet. Google likely doesn’t care about exclusives, as it wants ubiquity.